Volunteers are an integral and vital part of sport at all levels and former Cheshire President David Durling (Shrigley Hall Golf Club) is a great example of the incredible work they do at all levels.
David outlined his time in golf: “I joined Shrigley Hall GC in 2000 and after a few years, I was appointed as Chair of Match & Handicap before becoming Captain in 2010 and then President in 2012/13.
“At around the time that I was President of Shrigley Hall GC, I decided to qualify as an England Golf referee which I did in 2012.
“This prompted the Cheshire Union of Golf Clubs to ask me to join the Executive which I did in 2013, becoming a Director of CUGC Ltd.
“After filling various roles, including serving as Chairman of the Cheshire Golf Development Group, I was invited to become Deputy President for 2019 which meant that I would become the Centenary President in 2020.
“As everyone is aware, 2020 was severely affected by Covid and so I was asked to stay on for another year, which gave me the opportunity to attend various events which had been cancelled the previous year.
“The most important of these was the Centenary Dinner at the Mere Resort which was held in October 2021.
“For the first time we invited the Ladies to join us, and this resulted in one of the largest attendances we have had in recent times for the Dinner, which was attended by the Captain of the R. & A., together with the President of England Golf.
”It was a very successful event and a wonderful evening that resulted in a fitting climax to our Centenary.
“As I approached the end of my Presidency, my Deputy President was unable to continue and therefore I had to find a replacement, and this resulted in a change of roles within the Executive which culminated in the Chairman, Andrew Henshall, taking on another role, before the end of his three year term, and I was asked to take over as Chairman, which I did in February 2022.
“Within a few months, the County Secretary decided to retire and so I was faced with having to find a replacement, which with the help of a small committee, we were able to achieve, and Steve Doughty joined us in November.
“The role of Chairman is a voluntary one and covers all of the activities carried out by the County Union including the various regulatory issues that we rightly have in this day and age.
“In 2023, we started the process of Unifying golf within Cheshire, and a small group consisting of three Ladies from the Cheshire County Ladies Golf Association and three men from the Union, set about the not inconsiderable task of unifying the two organisations. This is still a work in progress which we hope to complete at the end of 2024.
“Golf in Cheshire involves 93 Clubs and over 35,000 players and it is run by volunteers with just one employee, the County Secretary.
“I cannot adequately express my thanks and respect for everything that this army of volunteers achieves, which has resulted in great success on the golf course, both collectively and individually, and I trust that this will continue.
“I am in my final year as Chairman, and it will be a momentous one which I hope will result in there being one single organisation running amateur golf in Cheshire.
“We are fortunate that people continue to join the Executive and play their part in running our operations, that include over 50 Championships, Tournaments and Matches each year. Without these volunteers, we just could not function.
“I will continue to run the Summer Knockouts at Shrigley Hall and I act as an advisor on Rules matters.
“I love the game of golf, both playing it, refereeing and watching our elite golfers playing for the County, and I will continue to do so for as long as I am able.”
Copy: Geoff Garnett
Pictured above: David (centre) in referee mode