Northumberland hotel appoints first female golf manager in the North East

Award winning Matfen Hall, Hotel Golf and Spa has appointed Northumberland born, Nicola Hawes, as its new Golf Manager.

Nicola, now the first female manager in the North East, has been a member of the Matfen Hall team for 17 years, firstly in front of house roles before joining the golf team in February 2003.

She will be responsible for managing Matfen Hall’s 27 hole golf course, pro shop, driving range, par three course and coffee shop.

Nicola is a keen sportswoman, who has been playing golf since 2000 and has a handicap of eight. She has also been serving as captain of the Northumberland Ladies Cricket Team since 2010 and Stocksfield Ladies 1stTeam since 2003.

Nicola said: “I am proud to be associated with such a magnificent club and I am thankful to Sir Hugh and Lady Blackett who have given me this opportunity to prove myself at a place that is very special to me. I strongly believe in ladies’ participation in sport which is something I will be continuing to promote.

“Golf has in the past predominantly been a man’s sport, and up until recently some clubs wouldn’t even allow women to play their course, let alone be a member. Here at Matfen Hall we have always had an equality policy and that is the way I would like it to continue going forward.”

Nicola has a clear vision for the golf programme at Matfen Hall, including continuing its tradition as an inclusive club for its members, particularly juniors, ladies and beginners.

She said: “Golf has changed significantly in the past few years, pressures on people’s time and finances have been key to this. Matfen Hall has already adjusted its membership options for beginners and people with time constraints to reflect these developments, including a nine-hole membership with nine-hole qualifying competitions. This is something I’m looking to develop further during my time as Golf Manager.”

Bernard Bloodworth, Managing Director of Matfen Hall, said: “I could think of no one better than Nicola to take on the role of Golf Manager. The support the Nicola has had from our members has been astounding and unsurprising, as she is a very well respected and knowledgeable member of our team.

“Our Head Professional, John Harrison, who has spent his whole life in the golf industry with over 20 years at Matfen Hall, was very keen for Nicola to take up the position. I’m looking forward to seeing how they work together to develop our already thriving golf programme over the months and years to come.”