Northamptonshire’s Martin Izzard has been rewarded for his outstanding services to golf with a gong in the New Year’s Honours list.
Izzard, who has been playing golf since he was 14, received the British Empire Medal (BEM) for his work with his county golf partnership, which has introduced hundreds of new players to the game.
In typically modest style, however, Martin was quick to pay tribute to those he works with.
“It’s great to get a pat on the back but this award is really for Northamptonshire golf and for the many people who have worked so hard to put us on the map,” he said.
“We are only a little county, but we like to think we are starting to punch above our weight.”
The Northamptonshire Golf Partnership is part of a national network and brings together the men’s, women’s and professionals’ county organisations to develop the game at grass roots level. It was one of the first to form in England and Martin has been involved since its earliest days in 2007.
As well as welcoming newcomers to the game the Partnership offers a pathway for talented youngsters into the county’s coaching structure.
“It’s wonderful to have role models such as England international Ryan Evans of Wellingborough and the LET’s rookie of the year, Charley Hull, who started her golf at Kettering,” added Martin.
“One of my proudest moments this year was going to the Northamptonshire Sports Awards and seeing young lads and lasses collecting awards
Martin has been involved in golf both as a player - with over 100 appearances for his county - and an administrator.
He’s been a member of Northampton for over 40 years, is a trustee of the club and a past captain. He’s been county president and has just retired after 26 years on the county’s executive committee.
Nationally, he has served on the executive committee of the former English Golf Union, as well as on committees responsible for championships and handicapping.
He is currently a member of the England Golf tournament panel, assisting at national events.