New golf development officer

Dream job: Iain Lancaster, left, with England Golf Regional Development Officer Sean Hammill

Dream job: Iain Lancaster, left, with England Golf Regional Development Officer Sean Hammill

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The Lancashire County Golf Partnership have announced the appointment of a new regional development officer.

Iain Lancaster has been given the role, designed to help boost the numbers of players taking up the sport across the county.

The former sports scientist and keen golfer said he is relishing the challenge.

“I can’t wait to get started,” said the 33-year-old who is tasked with delivering a wide-ranging number of projects to increase participation in the game at all levels and supporting clubs in recruiting and retaining members.

“I’ve tried my hand at almost every sport going but golf has always been a mainstay so this is a dream job,” he said.

“I hope to mirror the best practices adopted in other regions and put my own spin on some of the elements by applying techniques I’ve used in the past.”

Lancaster will liaise with the men’s County Union, Lancashire Ladies’ Golf Association and the PGA.

The body comes under the umbrella of the England Golf Partnership which brings together England Golf and the PGA with the support of the Golf Foundation who provide funding along with Sport England and other such grant-awarding agencies and sponsors.

Its ultimate aim, through its Whole Sport Plan, is to increase and widen participation in golf, from grass roots level, and achieve the vision of making England the world’s leading golf nation by 2020.

Lancashire is the latest of more than 30 participating English counties.

“I’ve already done some research on local clubs. It all looks very exciting and I hope to hit the ground running,” said Lancaster.

He played semi-pro football during his time at university in the North East, turning out as a centre midfielder for several regional sides including Whitby Town reserves.

His first golf club was Gainsborough and for the last four years he has been a member at Eccleston Park in Rainhill.

“My target was to get to single figures last season but I missed it by one point,” said the 10 handicapper. “But I won the club championship, the singles matchplay and scored my first hole in one!”

Lancaster has spent the last five years working for a cycling charity in Warrington; his other previous roles were at Pendle Leisure Trust in Colne as a sports scientist.