Award for Howarth at the home of golf

The Howarth family at St Andrews, where Anthony received the Toby Sunderland Award.
The Howarth family at St Andrews, where Anthony received the Toby Sunderland Award.

Bridlington Golf Club professional Anthony Howarth was recognised at the home of golf for his work in raising more than £60,000 for charity over the past two decades.

He and his family went to St Andrews on the eve of the Open Championships to receive the annual Toby Sunderland Award, and described it as ‘a very special trip’.

The award is made each year to recognise outstanding charity work by a PGA professional.

Howarth was nominated by the secretary of the PGA of Yorkshire, in recognition of his work over the past 20 years organising the hugely popular Lloyd Dowson Seaside Pro/Am event at the Belvedere course in Bridlington.

A number of names were put forward from around the country, but Howarth received a call telling him that he had been chosen for the honour.

He said: “I was delighted to have been nominated for the award and when the PGA of the North of England and Wales head office phoned to say I had won the award, I was shocked.

“I was even more shocked when I was informed that I would receive the award at a champagne reception presentation evening on the eve of the British Open.

“I have many fond memories of St Andrews and the surrounding area as I nearly qualified myself for the British Open back in 1990.

He and his family, who are all keen golfers, made the long journey to Scotland for the presentation, where they found themselves surrounding by some big names from the sport.

“The reception was a very grand affair with many PGA officials and dignitaries present from all around the world,” said Howarth.

“There was also a special guest appearance by Mark O’Meara, the two-time major winner.

“Having assumed no speeches were required, I admit to making the most of the free flowing champagne on offer and I was a little concerned when I was asked by Sandy Jones, chief executive of the PGA, to tell the audience exactly what winning this award means to me.”

The speech was very well received, and as well as winning his award, Howarth was also given a cheque for £250 to donate to the charity of his choice.

He decided to hand this over to the Bridlington Lifeboat, as this was the benefitting charity at this year’s Lloyd Dowson Seaside Pro/Am

Howarth also won an award on behalf of the Bridlington Golf Festival earlier this year at the Bridlington Free Press Sports Awards evening.

He said: “I love my job and in particular being involved with the many golf events I organise.

“It makes it all more worthwhile when your work is recognised and appreciated, no matter how small the gesture.”