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Bishp Auckland promotes junior golf
25th June 2012

CAPTION: Barbara Veal, Ladies Captain at Bishop Auckland Golf Club, receives the GolfMark award from Jonathan Ward, County Development Officer for the Durham County Golf Partnership, joined by Anthea Rowntree, PGA professional Michael Pilgrim, Debbie Vaulks and junior members Simon Joyce and Briony Bayles.

A DURHAM club is offering free membership to children under 11 to celebrate its success in receiving a national award for its role in developing a new generation of golfers.

Bishop Auckland Golf Club has earned the GolfMark seal of approval for its beginner and child-friendly approach to introducing new people to the sport.

The club, based in Durham Road, is working hard to make it as easy as possible for people of all ages to give golf a try by running taster sessions for both children and adults.

Free weekend coaching is available to juniors thanks to the club's PGA professional Michael Pilgrim with the support of junior liaison officers Phil and Debbie Vaulks.

Says club member Anthea Rowntree: "Receiving GolfMark is extremely rewarding for a dedicated team at Bishop Auckland who have invested a great deal of time and effort to meet the stringent standards required.

Achieving GolfMark recognises the club provides a safe and organised environment where staff and volunteers are trained to support the needs of juniors and beginners of all ages.

"It shows we are doing things in the right way and the importance we attach to having the right child protection policies. The club is thinking in a very positive way not only about how it can encourage more juniors, but also how we can help adults start playing or return to golf."

Full details of the free junior membership offer can be obtained by contacting the club secretary on 01388 661618 or by e-mailing

Bishop Auckland is also hosting a series of free adult taster sessions starting next month (July). These include three courses of five one-hour lessons for beginners - with one group for ladies only. Further follow-on coaching is also available for those who want to take their interest further.

Anyone interested in any of the coaching opportunities available at the club should contact professional Michael Pilgrim on 01388 661618 option 3 or by emailing

The club, first established in 1894 making it one of Durham's oldest clubs, has built strong links with local schools as part of its drive to encourage newcomers into the sport and is looking to roll out a Tri Golf scheme for the area's primary schools in the future. As the club continues to look to the future, plans are also under discussion for a new Par 3 area which would provide an ideal setting for newcomers to the sport to develop their golfing skills.

Says Jonathan Ward, county development officer for the Durham County Golf Partnership: "GolfMark means that a parent dropping off their child at Bishop Auckland Golf Club knows they are in a positive environment with the emphasis on the right care and responsibilities.

"The club also offers a welcoming atmosphere in which adults as well as juniors are encouraged to try playing golf and to go on and enjoy the health and social benefits that the sport can offer."

GolfMark is a national scheme that incorporates ClubMark and recognises junior and beginner friendly golf facilities that focus on Coaching and Playing, Club Environment and Child Protection, and Duty of Care, all of which are extremely important to parents and children alike.

GolfMark is an initiative jointly provided by the EGU and EWGA via the England Golf Partnership's 'Whole Sport Plan' for golf and is an integral part of the England Golf Partnership's vision to 'Grow the Game'.

The England Golf Partnership is a collaboration of a number of stakeholders in the sport including England Golf - the new organisation formed by the merger of the English Golf Union and The English Women's Golf Association - the PGA, the Golf Foundation and Sport England.

This partnership is replicated at county level and brings together the Durham County Golf Union, Durham County Ladies Golf Association and the North East PGA.

For more details of the Durham County Golf Partnerships activities, please visit

For more information on the work of the Durham County Golf Partnership contact Jonathan Ward, County Development Officer, Durham County Golf Partnership.

Mobile: 077758 48602


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