Fynn Valley Golf Club wins Most Welcoming Golf Club Award

Fynn Valley director of golf Ryan Parfett (front left) receives the club’s England Golf award from

Fynn Valley director of golf Ryan Parfett (front left) receives the clubs England Golf award from Dan Gathercole of sponsoring American Golf watched by club members and officials. Photograph: Leaderboard Photography. - Credit: Archant

There’s a very warm welcome at Fynn Valley. They have a national award to prove it.

Sam Byford receives the Nick Reiss Memorial Trophy from Mrs Jane Reiss-Watson. Photograph: CONTRIBUT

Sam Byford receives the Nick Reiss Memorial Trophy from Mrs Jane Reiss-Watson. Photograph: CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Archant

The club was presented with the Most Welcoming Golf Club Award, sponsored by American Golf, at last week’s 2017 England Golf Awards at Lord’s.

The event shone the spotlight on great moments and achievement at all levels of English golf and the club was honoured alongside Olympic champion Justin Rose, Masters champion Danny Willett and Solheim Cup player Charley Hull, as well as other players and heroes from the grass roots game.

“This award highlights that what we are doing is important,” said Fynn Valley director of golf Ryan Parfett. “It’s a massive pat on the back.”

Fynn Valley is a family business which opened 26 years ago and, in a specially filmed video, company secretary Jenny Holmes explains: “We felt when we opened the club the most important part was to really welcome everybody, regardless of what they did for a living, how old they were or what gender they were.

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“We had the same welcome for everyone. That’s the foundation on which the club is built.”

There’s never been a dress code in the bar and the club aims to offer something for everyone, from beginner to low handicapper.

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As well as offering great golfing facilities and competitive opportunities, the club promotes fun golf for all and stages many social events.

It’s keen to attract new players and holds an annual ‘give golf a go’ day, aimed at families, with fun golf on the range and par-three course.

It worked with PGA professional Alastair Spink to develop his innovative Here Come the Girls coaching programme for women which has been launched internationally as love.golf

New members receive an extensive welcome pack and plenty of help to find playing partners, including a WhatsApp group.

The club has a successful junior academy, which currently attracts 50 youngsters for coaching, and strong links with local schools.

Fynn Valley is currently investing around £1.5 million in a new clubhouse which will maintain the traditional welcome and see the club move forward as a hub for all the family and local community.

Fynn Valley owner Tony Tyrrell said: “We are delighted. It is some reward for all the people we have introduced to golf and hundreds of members we have provided for other clubs.”

- The Suffolk Junior Committee award the Nick Reiss Memorial Trophy and the Sam Jaggard Trophy to the under-18 player and under 16-player who has not only shown excellent golfing ability but has also demonstrated high standards of behaviour, sportsmanship and leadership.

The trophies were presented at the final junior winter coaching session at Aldeburgh.

For 2016 Sam Byford (Ipswich) was awarded the Nick Reiss Memorial Trophy.

He had achieved the unique feat of winning the county Suffolk Amateur Championship as a 16-year-old and the Suffolk Junior Championship as a 17-year-old.

It is unlikely that the two championships will be won in that order again. Byford also regularly represented the men’s second team in the Anglian League.

He was presented with the trophy by Mrs Jane Reiss-Watson who donated the trophy in 2001 in memory of her late husband.

Liam Hansey (Bungay and Waveney Valley) received the Sam Jaggard Trophy.

He represented the Under 16 team with distinction and was also selected to play for the under-18 team.

Throughout the winter coaching the boys have been undertaking skills tests. The winner of Group One was George Fricker (Ufford Park) and the winner of Group two was Jack Butcher (Gorleston).

Their trophies were presented by Mike Stevenson, the retiring chairman of Suffolk Junior Golf.

- Stowmarket’s Sam Forgan finished tied eighth in the Dreamland Professional Classic, a Mediterranean Tour event played in Egypt on the shores of the Red Sea.

His opening round of six under par 66 was followed by rounds of 71 and 69 leaving him 10 under par for the tournament.

The winner was Leonardo Sbragia of Sweden with 15 under par.

Other scores included England’s Steve Uzzell also 10 under, Rhys Enoch of Wales and Ben Stow of England nine under, Josh Loughrey of Wiltshire and Luke Johnson of King’s Lynn seven under. James Scade, a former Braintree junior, was six under.

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