Our chance to say thanks.
The National Golf Awards are back again!
The awards are a great opportunity to recognise and celebrate excellence in our golfing community.
New Zealand Golf have had national awards in some shape or form throughout its history, so you may be asking yourself ‘why should I care about these?’ A good question, here’s why;
2017 saw the reinvigoration of the National Golf Awards after it had been absent from the calendar for a number of years. In line with the change in strategy five years prior, the flavour of the golf awards has a marked shift. While the awards still recognise excellence in playing the game at both an amateur and professional level, there is a greater emphasis placed on the grassroots of the game and the people who support it.
Golf in New Zealand relies heavily on the people that make it tick, the volunteers, the administrators, the coaches, the managers. It is estimated that between 8-10 thousand people volunteer to support golf, each year. All of these people play in integral role in supporting and growing the game. The National Golf Awards is the opportunity for our industry to say “Thanks” to those generally unsung heroes of our sport.
2017 saw over 60 entries across 11 categories. This year, New Zealand Golf hopes to attract over 100. The categories are as follows:
- Club of the Year
- Manager of the Year
- Administrator of the Year
- Volunteer of the Year
- Disabled Golfer of the Year
- Professional Coach of the Year
- Community Coach of the Year
- Professional Player of the Year – Female/Male
- Amateur Player of the Year – Female/Male
Chris Davies, 2017’s Manager of the Year and advocate of the awards said “It’s great to see so many people across the country being recognised for the hard work they put in. Many people support our industry and this is a good opportunity to say thanks to them.”
The awards provide the opportunity to share success that might otherwise go under the radar. This is clearly the case for 2017 Club of the Year winners Motueka Golf Club. Just getting on with business in a very quiet, kiwi manner, you would be forgiven for not realising how hard the club is working and the success they are having. Peter Johnson, club president notes “none of the clubs success has been accidental.” The club increased membership by 23 percent in three years and increased their financial reserves five-fold over the same period. The club has also committed to being “the friendliest club in the top of the south.” It is this type of hard-work and success that the National Golf Awards endeavours to recognise and celebrate.
It’s fair to say that while 2017 was a successful year, it has room for improvement. 2018 will see some changes to streamline the nominating and judging process. 2018 nominations will be via an online form that is much more succinct and provides a little more freedom for nominators. The decision-making process has also been sharpened up with finalists going to a panel of judges from inside and outside of golf debating and deciding on the winners of each category. As someone who was in the room for the 2017 discussion, I can tell you the debate can get fierce.
The prize for winning a category is outstanding. Winners receive flights, accommodation and access to the 100th New Zealand Open in Queenstown.
If this has piqued your interest, you know someone who deserves nominating or you want to nominate yourself, the process is very easy. Go to golf.co.nz and click on the National Golf Awards link to start typing! Nominations are open now!
The best of luck to all nominees for 2018. Winners will be announced in February 2019.