We have taken time again to celebrate the importance of volunteers with respect to Middlesex Golf and in fact all walks of life. We sat down recently with Phil and Kathryn Tiddy from Enfield GC. Phil and Kathryn were finalists in our Volunteer of the Year awards this year and were recipients of the Junior Organisers award in 2018, recognised for their work with youngsters at Enfield.
If you think of the development of Junior Golf in Middlesex or at Enfield, then these guys will be at the top of your mind. We wanted to understand how they got into volunteering and what has kept them motivated for so long. Were there any secret formulas and what could be taken from their experience to inspire others to “step up” in their clubs and volunteer
So grab a cup of coffee, sit back and be prepared to be inspired by the Tiddys of Enfield!
How long have you been involved in golf and members at Enfield?
Phil – We started out as golfers in 1996 and were fortunate to choose Enfield GC, which today is one of the thriving clubs in the county!
What was the catalyst that got you both to volunteer at your club?
Kathryn – We felt that with our boys playing as juniors, we would be spending lots more time at the club so rather than just being drivers/spectators, why not get involved? The time really was right for us.
What has been your most satisfying achievement whilst volunteering?
Phil – the longevity of success and achievement is greatly satisfying. The sustained wave of juniors coming through and making it through to represent the county and to be excellent and valued members of our golf club. From the outset, we noticed a gradual culture change and have reached a place now where youngsters are an integral part of the fabric of Enfield GC. Today Juniors at Enfield are as important and influential as any section within the club, we are all golfers first and foremost. It can only lead to and in fact, it has already led to membership retention and growth. A significant byproduct is a cycle which has evolved where juniors join, flourish, and have fun and this has the effect of parents following in their footsteps and joining the club too, it’s natural after all!
Kathryn – For me, there are so many proud moments and milestones, but one standout must be the success of our Junior Annual Presentation evening. This year 114 juniors, parents and invited guests were in attendance at the 2-course dinner and presentation’s great to see the juniors in a different, non-golf course, environment socialising and further cementing their friendships. And seeing the winners collecting their trophies definitely inspires the younger juniors to drive for success in future years. Next year we’ll be holding our 10th Annual Presentation Dinner – where does the time go?
Thinking of Juniors, how has your work helped the succession of Juniors through to full members of the club?
Phil – As we mentioned it’s been a culture change, where attitudes have changed. Adult tee times are available not only to the best juniors but also to the “late bloomers” who have loads to offer on the course and club life. These Juniors have a habit of sticking around. Flexibility is the key to allowing junior members to flourish and fully integrate into club life
How do you get others to help you, what is the magic touch that you possess?
Phil – There is no magic touch. A supportive committee is key, plus it’s important that junior organisers communicate well. It’s not imperative to be on the committee or board, often a clear concise monthly report is all that is needed to keep people informed and remain supportive.
How does your home club of Enfield support and help facilitate what you do?
Phil – As mentioned younger golfers have been embraced by all at the club. We empower Juniors to have a say by way of our own junior committee, made up of Juniors/parents. All juniors learn life skills whilst enjoying the game. And our junior captains can be hugely influential not only in the junior section but across the club. Most recently with Issie Brunskill and her influence on women’s golf at the club and Alex John in diversity and his association with the Black British Golfers Association. Our General Committee / Board are hugely supportive, and we cannot thank them enough.
Kathryn – The club championships this year embraced and included the Juniors with a handicap of 12 or below being the only criteria for boys, 28 and below for girlsAge was not a factor. In fact, we had a 10-year-old boy make the cut and compete in his own right in the men’s championship and girls took the 1st 3 places in the women’s championship. Like any players, all were supported by the members.
What would be your advice to anyone considering volunteering?
Phil – When I was a youngster playing rugby and tennis I had huge support from coaches and other adult volunteers. I took all the help I received for granted. It was only later in life I recognise how much it meant and helped me. So for me, it’s giving back and my way of saying thank you to all those people who helped me when I was younger.
Have you ever considered working with the governing bodies (England Golf) to help them plan the next generation of volunteers?
Phil and Kathryn – Not something we have looked at although we’re always happy to speak to anyone about how we work at Enfield.
Do you think as people become busier that we will struggle to attract volunteers?
Kathryn – Everyone’s busy but we don’t see being too busy being an issue, review your priorities if you are serious about volunteering. You can shape a role that fits around you, there is no model that you need to satisfy – that’s been our experience.
What is the best thing about being a volunteer?
Both – There really is no one thing, it’s the whole package. we enjoy being involved at the club. . Seeing a strong and sustainable Junior Section is hugely rewarding.
Other than golf what are your other life great passions?
Phil – has to be Rugby and Saracens in particular. Particularly love following them abroad. And of course, my family too.
Kathryn – Always been a follower of Tennis and I play Badminton as well, Family also plays a big part in our lives.
Who would be in your dream 4 Ball?
Kathryn – Dame Laura Davies, Annika Sorenstam, Viktor Hovland
Phil – Just happy to play with my mates (and of course Kathryn) – well remembered Phil!
Other than your home course, which course would you go back to and play again?
Kathryn – I played St Georges Hill many years ago and I have lasting memories so would love to revisit
Phil – without hesitation, San Lorenzo
And finally, what project(s) are you currently working on?
Phil Nothing too specific, we encourage our juniors to support all Middlesex county Championships. We know they will gain so much experience for their golfing journeys ahead.
Kathryn – If the Juniors get involved and complete the above championships, we reward them with credit on their club cards. Win Win really
We both would love to see more thriving Junior Sections and anything we can do to encourage that would be a worthwhile project
Thanks so much for your time, I am sure that what you do and continue to do will inspire others to get involved in volunteering. Volunteering does not have to be Junior specific but if that is your chosen vocation then look no further than Phil and Kathryn. Enfield and Middlesex are blessed with having some fabulous role models, thanks so much!