Stars honoured at England Golf Awards
Bronte Law’s starring role in Great Britain & Ireland’s Curtis Cup victory saw her named Women’s Player of the Year at the England Golf awards. The Cheshire star, who has recently joined the professional ranks, was one of the big winners in a star-studded gala evening at Lord’s.
Law’s final season in the amateur ranks saw her ranked as the world’s No 2 player, win the European amateur title and go unbeaten as GB&I wrested the Curtis Cup from American hands in Ireland.
She was honoured, alongside other players and heroes from the grassroots game, at a ceremony attended by more than 400 guests and celebrities.
“England Golf have given me so much over the years and I’m really glad we had such a successful year and I could pay back and show my gratitude for everything,” she said in a recorded message.
Charley Hull’s LPGA Tour breakthrough saw her win the Spotlight Award.
She said: “I was two years old when my dad said ‘come on’ and took me to the golf club. I used to hit balls around the garden with my best mate and then I was selected for an England Birdie squad when I was eight or nine and it took off from there.”
Hull won her first national title at nine, was England’s top woman amateur at 15, rookie of the year on the Ladies’ European Tour and the youngest winner of the LET Order of Merit.
“I just love being out in the fresh air and I love whacking that golf ball,” she added.
The side that won the European Women’s Team Championship for the first time in 23 years was named Team of the Year.
The outfit, which triumphed in Iceland, consisted of Emma Allen, Alice Hewson, Bronte Law, Meghan MacLaren, Lizzie Prior and Olivia Winning. It was coached by Steve Robinson and captained by Anne Baines.
Bath’s Jenny Hobbs won the Lifetime Service Award, which recognised more than half a century where she has supported her club, county, regional and national tournaments.
The 83-year-old, who joined Bath in 1969, has been ladies’ captain three times and still organises the friendly matches.
Three years ago, she played 80 holes in one day to raise £1,300 for the captain’s charity. A former Somerset President, she said: “I’m absolutely overwhelmed, this is marvellous and terribly exciting.”
Bondhay’s Jenny Davies, who has built up a fantastic junior section at the Yorkshire club over the past four years, was named Volunteer of the Year. She was a founder member when the club opened 25 years ago and is the current vice-chairman. Her junior section has about 30 members playing on the main course and a flourishing group of beginners on the par 3 course.
“There’s so much satisfaction in seeing the development of skills and also the growing confidence and ability to mix with people. It’s fantastic to be able to witness that,” she said.
Young Ambassador of the Year was Sherwood Forest’s Emma Anderson. The 20-year-old has been the Nottinghamshire girls’ captain and encourages young players in her role in the county’s Girls Golf Rocks project.
“I was really surprised and really proud,” she said. “It’s nice to be recognised, although it’s not what you do it for. I’ve been given a lot of opportunities through golf and it’s nice to repay a little bit – plus I enjoy being around golf and seeing the faces of the kids as they are introduced to the game.”