Advice on junior coaching for small groups in England
The Golf Foundation provides life changing opportunities for young people through the power of golf. Last year the national charity introduced just under 50,000 young people to golf clubs across England, Scotland and Wales.
Following the announcement of the government allowing golf clubs and coaches in England to resume group coaching, the Golf Foundation has produced updated advice for clubs and PGA Professional coaches in England to help promote a safe return for juniors. The guidance can also be used for family groups and states that providers in England who run community activities, holiday clubs, after-school clubs, tuition, and other out-of-school provision for children may operate with safety measures in place for groups of children up to 15 to a staff member.
While social gatherings of more than six people will be banned in England from 14 September, the government has confirmed that organised sports and activities that have been through return to play protocols can continue.
(Guidance in Scotland and Wales states that up to 30 people can participate in organised outdoor group activity.)
The Golf Foundation believes that 1 coach can safely deliver a session of skill games and activities to a maximum of 15 children on a driving range or practice ground in England while following the Health and Safety guidelines developed in response to Covid-19:
- A standard layout of games and activities (see recommendations below) can be set out on the driving range or practice range ahead of any group/household coaching sessions with a clear single direction of travel from entry to exit;
- The PGA Coach can stand at one end of the practice area or behind a line of red marker cones to ensure that the minimum 2 metre social distancing is followed;
- Individual children can bring their own equipment (or equipment can be provided by the PGA Coach on condition that it is cleaned with sanitising wipes after each family session);
- Children should work individually on a separate tee for each game to ensure social distancing;
- Participants do not need to touch golf balls or any of the marker cones used in the games;
- The driving range ball washer should have soap in the machine;
- The ball dispenser surfaces must be cleaned frequently;
- If using a practice ground or similar, a 2 metre exclusion zone should be created around the lesson tee/golfer so that no one enters;
- If the PGA Coach has to move a player into position, an alignment stick can be used, which is easy to wipe down with sanitising wipes before and after the lesson;
- The PGA Coach should wash hands with soap and water before and after the session;
- Sanitising wipes should be provided and used by the PGA Coach and golfers
The Golf Foundation has provided ideas from our learning programme ‘Junior Golf Passport’ to set up activities and skill challenges that only involve the player hitting the ball and minimising the need to touch any other equipment. Where the activity is chipping and/or putting, participants should be encouraged to use their own golf balls.
Example Game ideas
See the Junior Golf Passport cards below which can be adapted according to the guidance above i.e. focus on players working individually on each tee or challenge rather than in pairs. Use the Skills Test section on each game to provide scoring and challenges throughout the session.
Putting Green/Short Game area
Game 1 – Putting – Bullseye
Game 2 – Chipping – Limbo Run & Limbo Lob
Driving Range/Practice Ground
Game 3 – Pitching – Pitch Perfect
Game 4 – Full Swing – Champions League – play individually and set a different challenge for each league, with players having a go in each league.