‘GolfSixes League’ was in the top-three on the leaderboard at the recent national ‘Sports Business Awards’ in London, as the Golf Foundation earned an award for helping more young golfers to ‘Start, Learn and Stay’ in the game.
The Golf Foundation team was delighted to be recognised in the final of the prestigious Sports Business Awards 2019, at The Brewery in London – with the child-centred national charity winning the Bronze Award (third place) in the category ‘Best Sports Governing Body Initiative’.
Athletics World Championship Gold Medallist Roger Black MBE, former England Rugby star Lawrence Dallaglio OBE and Joanna Adams, CEO of England Netball, were among the Judges Panel which selected GolfSixes League for the honour, an initiative which in 2019 will bring the joy of team golf to 3,000 boys and girls from 250+ golf clubs, in 55 leagues in England, Scotland and Wales.
It certainly made an impact: with the Judges stating that GolfSixes League has “given the game of golf a lot more razzmatazz and is attracting a younger demographic. This…provides an innovative solution to address the challenges posed by the traditional game. Seeing the rising engagement proves the success of the project and it is designed to be sustainable. A very commendable initiative.”
In front of a packed audience of 400 industry leaders, GolfSixes League was in the final’s awards category that included initiatives from national governing bodies for Martial Arts (the Gold Award winner), Netball, Table Tennis and Swimming.
GolfSixes League was created in 2018 to foster a sense of belonging in junior sections and boost the involvement of parents. Juniors play in competitive inter-club golf leagues – developing regular players and new members through team practice and play; six-a-side, six-hole matches for boys and girls, wearing team shirts, supported by high numbers of parents.
Replicating the fun ‘team golf’ found in the European Tour’s creation of ‘GolfSixes’ (GolfSixes Cascais runs from June 7-8 in Portugal on the European Tour) and also recent Ryder Cups, in the 2018 GolfSixes League 25% of the 1,160 players were girls, while 65% of parents volunteered at events. There was a 34% increase (42% in England) in affiliated membership at these clubs. For 2019, the aim for the Foundation is to encourage girls to form 33% of the playing teams taking part from over 250 golf clubs.
The number of scheduled Leagues in Scotland has also grown quickly in 2019, partly through the enthusiasm to include more girls in matches in the build-up to September’s Solheim Cup, and a GolfSixes League Grand Final will take place at Gleneagles on the 8th September in the build-up to the historic match.
GolfSixes League is supported by The R&A, the European Tour, HSBC, Sport England, Titleist, England Golf, Wales Golf, and Scottish Golf.
(GolfSixes League Team picture courtesy of Getty Images)