A mark of quality

Golf Mark at Alnwick Golf Club. Peter Skelton photography
Golf Mark at Alnwick Golf Club. Peter Skelton photography

A revived north Northumberland golf club which was on the brink of extinction less than two years ago has teed up a prestigious national accolade.

Having gone from strength to strength since a vital takeover towards the end of 2010, Alnwick Castle Golf Club – formerly Alnwick Golf Club – has been honoured with a GolfMark Award.

Run by England Golf, it recognises junior and beginner-friendly golf facilities.

To add icing to the cake, Alnwick has been recognised by England Golf as a High Achiever, making it one of a select number of clubs nationwide to meet additional conditions over and above those minimum 
standards required for GolfMark.

Daniel Harrison, assistant manager at the club, said: “We are proud to have achieved GolfMark status only 18 months after the club nearly closed its doors for good.

“It shows that we are taking a positive approach and looking to build further for the future in terms of its offering for juniors and newcomers to the game.”

The three key areas assessed at a club as part of GolfMark are coaching and playing, club environment and child protection and duty of care.

Clubs awarded GolfMark status are recognised by Sport England as Clubmark facilities - a cross-sport accreditation for sports clubs with junior sections.

Lisa Ferrie, who was county development officer for Northumberland at the time GolfMark status was awarded to Alnwick, said: “It is lovely to see one of our clubs transform from struggling to absolutely thriving and putting systems in place to ensure progression for juniors and beginners.

“They are a great example of how a club can transform their situation through a development and marketing plan.”

It is a far cry from where the club was in the autumn of 2010, when it was on the verge of collapse, only to be saved by a last-gasp takeover by businessman and now owner Simon Kimble - and it hasn’t looked back since.

For more information, visit www.alnwickcastlegolfclub.co.uk