THE Wiltshire Golf Partnership has received £20,000 in order to promote and develop the game in the county over the next three years, writes Ernie Newell.

The money has been awarded to the county by the England Golf Partnership, but it was not given as a matter of course.

The Wiltshire Golf Partnership, which was set up 14 months ago and comprises the Wiltshire County Golf Union, Wiltshire Ladies' County Golf Association and the Wiltshire Professional Golfers' Association, had to prepare a three-year development plan for the county which met with the approval of the England Golf Partnership.

The England Golf Partnership comprises the English Golf Union, English Ladies' Golf Association and the Professional Golfers' Association with the support of the Golf Foundation and Sports England.

Its aim is "to increase and widen the participation levels in golf and to achieve a vision of being the leading golf nation in the world by 2020 from grass roots right through to elite levels".

The three-year Wiltshire plan had to take into account the needs of local golfers, administrators, coaches, volunteers and all types of facilities from members' clubs to driving ranges.

After a series of forums and consultations throughout the county last season, the Wiltshire Golf Partnership's plan was submitted to the England Golf Partnership at the end of the year - and got the thumbs up.

"The next step in the plan is to engage with clubs where problems are apparent, and see what can be done to help," said Wiltshire County Golf Union stalwart Brian Daniel, of North Wilts, pictured.

Daniel, a former Wiltshire and South Western Counties president, was a member of the steering committee which made the successful bid.

The other members of the Wiltshire Golf Partnership's steering committee are Bowood professional and Wiltshire PGA secretary Simon Shanks, former Wiltshire women's captain and Tidworth member Di Gritt (chairman) and Golf England's Jamie Woodford.

Wiltshire women have a new county secretary in Penny Telling from North Wilts.

She replaces Vanessa Evans (Broome Manor), who relinquishes the post after three years.