Some of golf’s often unsung volunteer heroes recognised

Finalists in the “Volunteer of the Year” awards, from left: Grant Marshall, Michael Lane, Tony Chester and Phil Spokes. Photo: Golf NSW

VOLUNTEERS are the lifeblood of many golf clubs but too often they go unnoticed or taken for granted.

So it is great to see candidates from Holbrook RSL Golf Club, Lawrence Golf Club, Thurgoona Golf and Country Club and Barnwell Park Golf Club announced as finalists in the “Volunteer of the Year” category in the NSW Golf Industry Awards.

The finalists, Phil Spokes, Tony Chester, Michael Lane and Grant Marshall, were nominated for displaying a level of involvement in golf that is truly special.

Stuart Fraser, CEO of Golf NSW said the nominees represent the values of sport in ways that too often goes unnoticed.

“The work of our wonderful volunteers is often unheralded,” Fraser said. “They all deserve our acknowledgment for their selfless contribution to our great game.

Phil Spokes from Holbrook was nominated for the prolific dedication he makes to the game, generously dedicating himself to fundraising and education of others involved in the sport, ensuring his club will retain members and grow.

Tony Chester has volunteered at Lawrence Golf Cub for over 20 years. Over this time, he has donated more than 400 trees and plants to the golf course. Despite approaching the age of 80, Tony is still spending up to three days a week on the course or whenever he is required.

Michael Lane has been a tireless worker for his club, Thurgoona, and district, the Murray River DGA for some years. Last November, he was responsible for coordinating the contribution of almost 100 volunteers at the inaugural NSW Senior Open.

Grant Marshall of Barnwell Park has been the Co-ordinator for the clubs junior program for several years. He ensures the club’s nine-hole junior competition on Saturdays run smoothly, and encourages all participants, regardless of ability, to enjoy the sport.

The winner of the Volunteer of the Year will be announced at the NSW Golf Industry Awards night on Monday, 22 October, at Curzon Hall, Marsfield.

Tickets to the night are now on sale and cost $140.00 each or $1300 for a table of ten.

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Brian is an award winning golf writer and is the founder and editor of Australian Senior Golfer. He is a former Sydney journalist who had little interest in golf till he hit his first ball at the age of 49 (and a half). Since then golf has just about overtaken his life. Brian founded ASG in April 2008 and has since covered every Australian Open, Presidents Cups, World Cups and numerous other big men’s and women’s tournaments, spending days inside the ropes with the likes of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Tom Watson, Fred Couples, Greg Norman, Adam Scott, Jason Day, Karrie Webb, and many others. He has also played in, and reported on, numerous amateur tournaments, particularly senior and veteran events, around the country. Brian is a member of the Australian Golf Media Association and won the award for Best News Report for 2016 - 2017

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