Four teenagers who are making a difference in golf are in the running for England Golf’s Young Ambassador of the Year Award, presented in association with the Golf Foundation.
They are Ella Baker from Warley Woods Golf Club in the West Midlands, Louise McLoughlin from Bromborough Golf Club, Cheshire, Jessica Pilgrim from Stoke Park, Buckinghamshire and Georgina Wrixon from Ashley Wood Golf Club, Dorset.
England Golf Chief Executive Nick Pink said: "The judges were swept away by these fantastic young people who really love golf and share their pleasure with such enthusiasm."
"It’s hugely encouraging to know that the future of the game is in the hands of players like these."
The winner will be announced at the England Golf Awards 2019, sponsored by adidas Golf. The glittering black tie event will be hosted by BBC Breakfast presenter Dan Walker on Thursday 21 March, at the Royal Lancaster London.
Ella always has time for other people – despite helping to look after her disabled brother and dealing with her own medical needs. As her nomination spells out: “Helping others is in Ella’s nature.”
She’s passionate about golf and does all she can to spread her love of the game. She’s a Young Ambassador for England Golf and the Golf Foundation, she’s taken a school assembly to promote golf and helped run sessions for pupils, and she’s a regular volunteer at the GL Golf Academy at Warley Woods Golf Course at Smethwick, near Birmingham. She’s particularly enthusiastic about projects for disability golf.
“She is always looking at ways to get more people to join the sport she loves so much,” says her nomination. “She will still stop what she’s doing to help others who struggle or are new to the sport…She works so hard in everything she does, she's a very bubbly young lady and this rubs off on everyone she encounters.”
Louise fell in love with golf when was 11. Now aged 18, she’s a single figure handicapper, has played for Cheshire since she was 14, and uses her infectious enthusiasm to share her pleasure in the game.
She’s just been junior captain at her club, Bromborough, and she volunteers to help with junior coaching and at lessons for women beginners.
Louise has been a Girls Golf Rocks Ambassador for two years, helping at tasters and other events at seven different venues. She also visited local schools to encourage girls to take part.
Cheshire is one of England Golf’s priority junior counties, aiming to grow the game, and Louise provides a youthful perspective and gives her ideas on ways for clubs and the county to attract new players.
“She’s always got a smile and a cheery word of encouragement,” said 2018 ladies’ captain Jill Holmes. “Louise is a happy, charismatic girl who deserves to do well by her positive mental attitude and endless enthusiasm.”
Jessica is a 13-year-old who’s making a difference in golf in many ways, according to her nomination.
She’s both a keen player – and a member of England Golf’s Thames Valley regional squad – and an active volunteer who promotes the game.
Jessica is spreading her love of the game as an ambassador for England Golf and the Golf Foundation, for the recruitment campaign Girls Golf Rocks and for her club, Stoke Park in Buckinghamshire. She’s also helped make golf available at her school.
Jessica’s volunteering has taken her to the national junior games for disabled athletes and to high-profile golf events, where she’s met stars of the game, like Thomas Bjorn and Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston. But wherever she goes it’s to inspire other youngsters to give golf a go.
“Her infectious enthusiasm can only help in promoting golf,” said Jean Taylor, the 2018 Stoke Park ladies’ captain. “Her achievements all help to promote golf in her school, club and county. I hope her voice continues to be heard.”
Georgina’s mission is to keep young golfers in the game when they leave school, go to university or turn 18.
The 19-year-old is actively spreading the word that golf can be studied to degree level and that there are many jobs in the industry, other than playing on tour and coaching.
She promotes golf as captain of the Tournament Golf College, as a member of Ashley Wood Golf Club, as a Dorset player – and by presenting a trophy to her former school for services to golf. It’s intended for the person who does the most to promote the game and make it accessible to the whole school, not for the biggest winner or lowest handicapper.
Georgina has set up a Facebook group and an Instagram page to show there’s more to golf than hitting a ball.
She’s also doing her bit to get youngsters in the game and helped to organise and position the junior tees at Ashley Wood.
Tickets for the England Golf Awards cost £90 per person and include a drinks reception and a three-course dinner with wine. Find out more or book your ticket here.