Devon Golf were crowned the England Golf County of the Year for 2024 at Tuesday’s England Golf Centenary Dinner & Awards at The Midland Manchester Hotel.

Nick James, Chair of Devon Golf, receiving the award, said: ‘We’re a unified county after merging in 2018 and what we’ve achieved over the last few years has been fantastic. This award is the icing on the cake really and a reflection of where we are.

‘Our biggest achievements have just been getting more people playing golf and we’ve done some great work getting our development squads together, getting more people out and involved in golf clubs, working collectively together for the purpose of the county.

‘Geography isn’t on our side with most of our clubs around the outside of the county, so we rely on volunteers and without them we wouldn’t get anywhere near done as what we do. They make all the difference and we’ve got to continue to build that support group.

‘We’ve had some big events in our neck of the woods and we’ve got the Boys’ County Finals in Teignmouth in August so it’s nice for the county, which hasn’t necessarily been known for its performance, to just be recognised for the work we do.’

Devon Golf have worked closely with leading development programmes such as Golf Access, supporting 20 clubs (50 per cent of the county) with products to deliver to junior and beginner golfers completely free.

Within the Devon Golf pathway, with the help of an incredible volunteer network, Devon has established two thriving development squads for boys and girls. The girls’ development squad sees girls as young as eight involved with a group of 20-plus enjoying their golfing journey together.

Devon offers a free county card to all of its affiliated members as part of its affiliated member benefit package. Subsequently, four county card events have been set up each year which is inclusive of all handicaps, attracting over 1000 different golfers to these events.

Devon are quickly becoming ambassadors of change to help grow the game of golf by demonstrating the many benefits that come from unification, and were the first county nationally to adopt the ED&I policy at county level.