This has been another encouraging week for the Golf Foundation as we work to change the lives of young people by introducing them to golf.
During #VolunteersWeek (on social media), it has been a perfect time to reflect on their value in golf. The Golf Foundation works with a network of dedicated adult volunteers (Junior Organisers) across 437 HSBC Golf Roots Centres. We have heard that many have continued to help PGA Professionals and clubs in their communication with families even in the lockdown, and this selfless work really deserves praise; it is a great advertisement for the values of golf.
The Golf Foundation trains many young volunteers. Last year this charity trained 166 new Girls Golf Rocks Ambassadors with England Golf. We also trained 801 Young Leaders to inspire teams of boys and girls taking part in the School Games. Many young volunteers supported our GolfSixes League fixtures in 233 golf clubs, and at these fixtures 59% of parents also volunteered to help (38% of parents were non golfers). Young volunteers are adding great value as mentors to younger children and assisting our PGA Coaches: a situation where everybody wins!
In the last fortnight, friends and colleagues at golf venues have also reported a healthy number of parents encouraging their youngsters as they get back on the fairways, as golf offers a comparatively safe option for family exercise with good social distancing at this time.
Offering a younger golfing perspective, there is a team of now 17 Golf Foundation & England Golf Young Ambassadors recently strengthened with 10 new voices, who offer fresh insights as these two bodies work together to grow the game.
Celebrating girl and women players
On Tuesday/Wednesday, the golf world came together to celebrate #WomensGolfDay and our charity wished all of our girl and women golfers well in the year ahead to enjoy the game safely, as we support girls in schools, communities, clubs and leadership projects.
Our HSBC Golf Roots programme’s results of last year included a 48% increase in the number of girls visiting a golf club; the generation of 3,784 new affiliated golf club junior members, including 28% girls; while 28% of GolfSixes League players were girls. In schools, we request that for the School Games, 50% of school teams are girls. Other areas of our work have focused on providing leadership training and opportunities for girls and young women in the sport and the golf industry.
The Golf Foundation is following closely its stated pledge as a signatory of The R&A Women in Golf Charter (see our specific goals here).
While we feel this work is progressive, we are very aware that the game needs to continue to be more inclusive and appealing to new female players.
Thank you to creative young golfers
Finally, this week our team has heard from a number of young junior players about how they feel to be back playing golf, through their stories, pictures, videos, and emails. Thank you for some great posts on social media – let us know what you’re thinking about when playing golf now! See details about our creative competition here.