Yorkshire’s Steve Robinson was crowned coach of the year at the England Golf coaching conference.

The head professional at Sandburn Hall, in York, enjoyed a spectacular year in charge of the England women’s team – inspiring them to become European Champions for the first time in 23 years.

He was joined on the podium by Sussex’s Alan Covey, who was named volunteer manager of the year, while Cheshire’s Alan Thompson was the recipient of the lifetime service award.

Nigel Edwards, England Golf Performance Director, said: “These are truly exceptional people who stand out for the support and encouragement they provide to our golfers, helping them to be the best they can.”

Robinson’s success in Iceland in July was particularly sweet as his teams had been involved in bronze medal playoffs in the previous three years, but had left the championship empty handed on each occasion.

He was able to call on the likes of Bronte Law, the Curtis Cup and Annika Award winner, who sent a message to the conference saying: “The gold medal represents all Robbo’s work as a coach and mentor. He is not just a coach to me, he is a friend and I could not think of anyone who deserves this award more.”

Robinson also coaches the Yorkshire boys’ and women’s teams – and between them they’ve won 11 English county championships.

This year, three boys from the six-strong county squad have represented England and Robinson is also the personal coach to Charlie Thornton who won the England Golf Boys’ Order of Merit.

He summed up how he creates a winning culture by saying: “It’s all about building relationships with the players and making sure you know their vision and their mission.”

Covey, the Sussex junior manager and an England Golf regional manager, helps to organise coaching development for young players who wish to progress, andRobinson works with the county squads for players from U12 to U18 age groups.

He organises many events, including a national start-of-season championship for U16 boys and girls – and he also took an England team to the 2016 Canadian International Junior Challenge and encouraged them to victory.

He said: “This isn’t just about me, it’s about every manager out there and all of us want to make a difference.”

Thompson was unable to be at the presentation but conference delegates were told he had dedicated his career to helping golfers achieve their full potential at all levels, working with club players, county golfers, elite national amateurs and top professionals.

He was Cheshire coach for 25 years and was the professional at Heswall Golf Club until 2012 – when he retired to concentrate on his coaching.

He’s been assistant coach to the England Men’s A Squad for many years and this season has been especially memorable with squad player Scott Gregory winning the Amateur Championship and the England Golf Men’s Order of Merit.

He’s also taught many European Tour players, including Lee Slattery and Ryder Cup player Jamie Donaldson.

Steve Burnett, England Golf Men’s Performance Manager, paid tribute and said: “We want to say thank you for all your years of dedication, there are a lot of players out there who are very grateful.”

Pictures courtesy of Leaderboard Photography