Bristol & Clifton Golf Club - GolfMark Club of the Year runner up 2015

B&C Photo

Their excellent record of attracting and encouraging new players has helped to make Bristol & Clifton the joint runner-up in England Golf’s prestigious 2015 GolfMark Club of the Year award, supported by COBRA PUMA GOLF.

Their success was announced at the England Golf annual conference and awards dinner. GolfMark is an England Golf initiative which has just been refreshed to support clubs to achieve high standards in four areas: recruitment and retention; management and sustainability; coaching and competitions; and safeguarding.

This award, now in its seventh year, applauds GolfMark clubs which have made an outstanding and innovative contribution to developing the game.

Bristol & Clifton, which holds a High Achiever GolfMark, doubled attendance at its weekend sessions for juniors last year, introduced more family-based events and created new facilities for young members.

It improved links with local schools, offering free coaching and popular summer camps.  These lead into the club’s junior coaching academy, run by head PGA professional Paul Mitchell, who coaches European Tour player Chris Wood, and managed by his wife, Caren.

Club manager Mike Betteridge commented: “We are delighted that the enormous efforts of Paul and Caren Mitchell and their staff have been recognised by England Golf with the GolfMark Club of The Year runners-up award."

During 2014 the club introduced golf coaching sessions for disabled people of all ages and abilities. Over 300 children and adults took part in these and further four-week sessions for 2015 were soon fully booked.  The club is also providing coaching in three local special schools.

Bristol & Clifton has a fleet of buggies which are used to take special needs pupils to the various practice areas, including the USGA chipping green, putting green and academy course.

The club is planning a new six-hole academy course to ensure that juniors and disabled golfers can learn to play, rather than just use the various practice areas. Special practice memberships are being considered by the committee to prepare youngsters for playing the main course and to encourage disabled players to join the club.

Bristol and Clifton is also involved in England Golf’s Get into golf campaign, to inspire adults to take up the sport and become club members.

The GolfMark Club of the Year for 2015 is Windlesham Golf Club in Surrey. Bristol & Clifton was joint runner-up with Bedford & County Golf Club.

Craig Verrinder, UK and Ireland Marketing Manager for COBRA PUMA GOLF, said: It’s very important for COBRA PUMA GOLF to be involved with England Golf and the GolfMark Award and to be working together to invest in the development of the game.”


Caption (from left): Peter Bell, club chairman; Mark Betteridge, club manager; Andy McGreevy, PGA assistant at the Paul Mitchell Golf Academy; Caren Mitchell, academy manager; and Geoff Clements, club captain.