Golf NZ Award winners announced

**from GolfNZ media**

2020 National Golf Awards winners announced


Numerous people and facilities in the golf sector have been recognised for their outstanding work after an unpredictable 2020.

During a year that saw golf come to a screaming halt amidst the Covid-19 pandemic only to have record numbers of people engaging with golf after lockdowns, a total of 14 awards have been awarded to different athletes, administrators, events, and facilities for their outstanding contributions to the game in the past year at the National Golf Awards.

Russley Golf Club won one of the most sought-after awards, Club of the Year. The award was given to a club demonstrating excellence and has an outstanding record of achievement across all aspects of its operations.

Russley Golf Club is performing well financially and are always keen to be involved in anything golf in Canterbury. They run She Loves Golf, Futures, and All Abilities programmes, and are always thinking of how they can grow participation not only at their own club, but in the region as well.

Russley Golf Club General Manager Giles Beal says “It’s fantastic news. The members will be really pleased to hear we are the club of the year. We’ve been doing a lot over the last couple of years trying to make the club a better place for them.

“We’ve been very supportive of the Golf New Zealand initiatives like She Loves Golf and Futures. We are just trying to get more people playing golf in the region and be good citizens of golf in New Zealand.”

Meanwhile, Leo Barber won Administrator of the Year for his leadership at Paraparaumu Golf Club. The award was given to an administrator serving the sport at club, regional or national level who has made an outstanding contribution to the growth, success, enjoyment, or profile of the game in their administrative role. 

Barber lives and breathes everything Paraparaumu Golf Club and was able to navigate the club’s way through Covid-19 with excellence. His communication with his board, staff, and members was exemplary, and has since been embracing the strategic opportunities after weathering the initial period of Covid-19.

Barber says “As an administrator it’s not uncommon to hear what you might be doing wrong. At the end of what has been a tough yearfor everyone, it’s very humbling to have been acknowledged for perhaps getting some things right. I’m very proud.”

Rhys Bishop won the Leadership in Golf award which was awaded to a leader who is not only inspiring others but driving meaningful improvement or change for the betterment of golf.

Through Bishop’s leadership position at The Golf Warehouse, the company and it’s people heavily support Futures and All Abilities through programmes and access at their facilities. The company has also created a welcoming environment for new players, as their facilities are quite often where people hit their first shot.

Bishop says “Awards aren’t usually things I aspire to attain, but it’s quite nice to be doing your job and be recognised by others. My job is to help people play golf, whether that is customers walking through the door or whether it’s staff who want to be good golfers. It’s cool to be recognised for doing that.”

The Professional Player of the Year award went to Lydia Ko for being New Zealand’s leading professional in 2020. Ko managed to get back in the winner’s circle for the first time since 2018, as well as shooting a final round of 62 at the ANA Inspiration which has been labelled by some as the most impressive major round in history.

Female Amateur Player of the Year was awarded to Amelia Garvey. Garvey qualified for the US Open for a second time in 2021 where she made her professional debut. She also qualified for the Augusta National Women’s Amateur – an invitation-only event held at both Champions Retreat Golf Club and Augusta National.

James Hydes won Male Amateur of the Year after a stellar 2021 in New Zealand which saw him win the Autex Muriwai Open and the New Zealand Amateur Championship, as well as finishing in second place at The Carrus Open and third at the Pegasus Open.

The All Abilities Golfer of the Year was won by Andrew Woo of Maungakiekie Golf Club. The award was given to a player who has inspired others to play golf and have overcome an obstacle to play golf. Woo has shown dedication and passion to the game, and has been one of the lead voices in the All Abilities space in New Zealand.

The Golf Event of the Year was awarded to the Brian Green Property Group NZ Super 6’s held at Manawatu Golf Club. The event boasts a unique format on the final day where the top-24 players progress to the Super 6 Sunday. The players go head-to-head playing medal match play over six-holes until a winner is found. In 2020 Daniel Hillier prevailed over amateur Jang Hyun Lee in the final to win his second Jennian Homes Charles Tour event.

Ryan Fox has been awarded the Golf Performance of the Year for his final round at the ISPS HANDA Vic Open. He carded a final round of eight-under in trying conditions to rocket up the leaderboard into second-place.

Sean Foley has been awarded the Professional Coach of the Year award for his work with Lydia Ko. The award went to a coach that coaches a New Zealand Player. Foley has been an instrumental influence in helping Ko reach the peak of her game once again. Under Foley’s tutelage, Ko has returned to the winners circle on the LPGA Tour for the first time since 2018.

The Environmental Club of the Year award went to Royal Wellington Golf Club who are demonstrating an excellence in commitment to the environment.

Kerryn Jamieson won Community Coach of the Year for successfully contributing to the growth of participation in an enjoyable, engaging, and innovative manner at Windross Farm Golf Club.

Karen Craigie is a volunteer who is not only inspirational in their commitment to Rangiora Golf Club and the Canterbury region and contributes outstanding value to the game. She won the Volunteer of the Year.

The Futures Waikato Hub also won the Futures Impact of the Year award.

Golf New Zealand Chief Executive Dean Murphy says “The National Golf Awards are our chance to celebrate the dedication, commitment, and excellence across the whole golfing community. Despite a challenging year, the golf sector has done an outstanding job of navigating the pandemic and thriving through the challenges of 2020.”

Posted: Friday 25 June 2021