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New President and Chairman for England Golf

England GolfJohn Williams has taken office as the 2017 President of England Golf, while Nic Coward has become the organisation’s first independent Chairman.

They both took up their new roles at last week’s annual meeting of England Golf, held at its Woodhall Spa headquarters.

John Williams (pictured) succeeds Yorkshire’s Marian Rae. He is a member of The Gog Magog Golf Club and an active member of the Cambridgeshire Area Golf Union.

John was part of the steering group which guided the merger of the English Golf Union (EGU) and the English Women’s Golf Association to create England Golf.

He also played a key role in running national amateur golf championships, having been chairman of the EGU’s championship committee and a referee for well over 10 years.

John spent his business life as an industrial relations and management specialist, after studying at Cambridge University and being called to the Bar. He joined the conciliation service, ACAS, soon after its launch in the mid-1970s, when the country faced many industrial relations issues. After 11 years he formed his own consultancy and training business, from which he retired five years ago.

Nic Coward is the first independent chairman of England Golf and takes over from Graham Yates of Somerset. He brings to the role the wide experience gained in a 20-year career at the top levels of British sport.

For the past year he has been the independent chairman of the England Golf Partnership, whose key roles are being taken on by England Golf.

Nic has been the general secretary of the Premier League, the chief executive of the British Horseracing Authority, joint chief executive of the Football Association and a director of Wembley Stadium.

He has also been a non-executive director of the FA, was treasurer of the CCPR (now the Sport and Recreation Alliance) and first chair of the global Sports Rights Owners Coalition. He now consults to a number of sports and entertainment businesses in the UK and around the world, as well as non-executive roles away from sport.

Alistair Booth and Doug Poole were elected as new England Golf Board members, while Ian Watkins of Gloucestershire and Les Wilson of Lancashire were re-elected.

Alistair Booth is the executive chairman of Frilford Heath Golf Club, the president of the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire (BB&O) Golf Union and the independent chairman of the Greenkeepers Training Committee.  Doug Poole has extensive interests within the golf industry which have included chairing the British Golf Industry Association and taking on the current role of project director for National Golf Month. He is president of the Cambridgeshire Area Golf Union and plays at Brampton Park Golf Club.

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