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June 12, 2020

‘6 for Tee, 5 Juniors and Me’ – new guidelines on coaching small groups of young people in England

Following the announcement by the Government allowing golf clubs and coaches in England to resume group coaching, the Golf Foundation has produced guidance for clubs and PGA Professional coaches to help promote a safe return for juniors, with the slogan ‘6 for Tee, 5 juniors and me’.

The Golf Foundation is a national charity that provides life changing opportunities for young people through the power of golf. Its work is intrinsically linked to PGA Professionals, working together to encourage young people of all abilities into regular golf and coaching at golf clubs, with PGA Coaches supporting a successful player pathway beginning in more than 3,000 schools. Last year the charity introduced just under 50,000 young people to golf clubs across England, Scotland and Wales, working closely at all times with the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA).

The Golf Foundation has now released advice that one PGA Coach can safely deliver a session of skills games and activities to a group of five children maximum, or a family group (also five), on a driving range or practice ground in England, while following the Health & Safety guidelines developed in response to Covid-19.

These guidelines have been sent to clubs and PGA Professional coaches in the Golf Foundation network in England and can be viewed here.

In Wales and Scotland, coaching must be either 1 coach to 1 household individual or 1 coach with a household group.

To support PGA Coaches further in welcoming juniors and families back to coaching, the Golf Foundation has provided a series of ideas from its established national learning programme, the Junior Golf Passport, to set up fun activities and skills challenges that are safe for young players and coaches combined.

Martin Crowder, Head of Development at the Golf Foundation, said: “PGA Professional coaches are at the heart of our golf programmes which help more young people to Start, Learn and Stay in golf. Their passion for going into schools, coaching juniors brand new to golf and then nurturing these players as they learn the game at club level, is all absolutely crucial for the future.

“Many PGA Professionals have been outstanding in the lockdown period during Covid-19, encouraging children and families to keep golfing and active at home. We are now very keen to help facilitate an effective return to group junior coaching and family coaching; with the one prerequisite that we make it absolutely safe for all. Hence our guidelines today that will continue to make the bond between our Golf Foundation team and PGA Coaches stronger together.”

Rob Maxfield, Chief Executive of the PGA, said: “Young people have had their access to sport and golf severely restricted in the last few weeks and months. We therefore welcome the easing of restrictions that will mean we can support and encourage young people back to golf through the quality coaching delivered by our fantastic PGA Professionals and the Golf Foundation.”

Today’s advice to clubs and PGA Professionals follows guidelines in May to ensure that junior members or academy golfers could be welcomed back to golf courses with maximum opportunity. These also had an emphasis on safety, inclusion, club and parental support, fairness in play for youngsters, while encouraging non-golfing parents to learn about the game and their local club; thus potentially growing family interest in golf with new audiences.

The Golf Foundation’s advice on coaching juniors and families is in close step with PGA and golf industry guidelines (including the four Home Nations) which can be found here.

(Image courtesy of Leaderboard Photography)

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