Meghan drives GolfSixes legacy for young playersGolf Foundation Ambassador Meghan MacLaren will help to promote the sport to a whole new audience this week, including boys and girls brand new to golf, when she tees it up in the European Tour’s ‘GolfSixes Cascais’ on Friday (June 7-8).
MacLaren, a two-time Ladies European Tour winner, was guest of honour of the Golf Foundation recently as the charity launched its own ‘GolfSixes League 2019’ series for young boy and girl players, which mirrors aspects of the European Tour version and will this summer reach 3,000 youngsters in more than 250 golf clubs in England, Scotland and Wales.
Having tried her hand at GolfSixes League, MacLaren will this week partner Florentyna Parker in the England Women’s team to play in the European Tour’s GolfSixes Cascais on Friday in Portugal. In their first match the pair will take on the GolfSixes 2018 defending champions, Team Ireland, of Paul Dunne and Gavin Moynihan. During this innovative, shootout-style tournament, MacLaren and Parker will compete in the same field as three Ryder Cup winners in Jamie Donaldson of Wales, Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher and Italy’s Edoardo Molinari.
“It was really cool to get a taste for some of the Golf Foundation’s work at the launch of their GolfSixes League,” said MacLaren. “To then be participating in the professional European Tour GolfSixes Cascais tournament will be really exciting. I think it’s an incredibly good concept for the Golf Foundation to provide kids with an opportunity to play, and then watch professionals compete in GolfSixes on the TV. It makes the game both more relatable and engaging across all abilities and ages.”
The 25-year-old agreed to become an Ambassador for the Golf Foundation in May, with the national charity supporting young people to Start, Learn and Stay in the game. Its ‘Golf for All’ philosophy welcomes more youngsters into the sport, regardless of ability, and believes the introduction of golf should be fun, child-centred, inclusive, inspiring, innovative and enriching.
All of the charity’s programmes are underpinned with a focus on encouraging girls within the sport, including training girls as Young Leaders to support them further in their education and possible careers. The Foundation requests all of its 3,000 connected primary schools to select 50% girls in School Games ‘Tri-Golf’ team events, and has asked all 250-plus golf clubs involved with GolfSixes League to select, where possible, at least two girls in every team of six.
Brendon Pyle, Chief Executive of the Golf Foundation, said: “Our focus on girls’ golf is very important to the whole Golf Foundation team, including offering positive leadership training to more girls so they may have every opportunity as they develop their careers. We also feel it is vital to celebrate strong role models in the sport for girls and this charity is very fortunate to have both Meghan MacLaren and also her fellow Foundation Ambassador, LET player Felicity Johnson, now supporting so much of our work.
“It will now be hugely exciting to see how Meghan compares her experience in encouraging the youngsters and parents at our GolfSixes League launch, with playing in the GolfSixes Cascais this weekend. However, we are sure that Meghan, Florentyna and all the players will help to inspire the many young people and their families who experience this exciting and innovative European Tour event.”
The European Tour is one of the key supporters of the Golf Foundation’s GolfSixes League, which also enjoys backing from The R&A, HSBC, Sport England, Titleist, England Golf, Wales Golf and Scottish Golf.
A short video, which sums up the value of GolfSixes League can be viewed here.
(Image courtesy of Sam Stephenson)