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‘Unleash your Drive’ to help youngsters on and off the course

The Golf Foundation has started the coach education phase of “Unleash your Drive”, a new programme for young people which has a particular focus on developing life skills through golf.

Following a highly successful pilot project, which was developed by a group of junior focused PGA Coaches and measured significant improvements in the confidence, commitment and overall mental toughness of the young golfers involved, the Golf Foundation is now rolling out Unleash your Drive to all PGA professional coaches interested in working with children and young people, and who wish to inspire young players both on and off the course.

PGA member professionals can now book onto one of six planned coaching workshops in England to experience the Unleash your Drive programme for themselves (25 PGA CPD points available for attendance). Golf club junior organisers and volunteers may also take advantage of this learning opportunity and book onto the workshops.
At the same time, the Foundation is seeking partners from within and outside the sport who may be interested in supporting this powerful message that golf can make a genuine difference in the lives of young people from all backgrounds and abilities.

The national charity recently revealed some exciting results of a research project measuring the impact of the new coaching programme for 11-16 year olds. In 10 weeks, youngsters taking part in the pilot projects showed a statistically significant improvement in Mental Toughness which evaluates Confidence, Commitment, Challenge and Control. Furthermore, the participants used the techniques they had learnt in their golf lessons to better address challenges in everyday life; at school, in exams and at home.

Unleash your Drive, devised in collaboration with Mindset experts Yeast Ltd and a group of PGA professionals, teaches techniques such as breathing and visualisation alongside traditional golf skills. Participants were assessed at the beginning and end of the programme using a standard Mental Toughness test (MTQ48) which measures how people respond when faced with stressors, pressure and challenge.

Wider research in this area shows that mental toughness has a positive impact upon wider areas of life such as exams, behaviour (lower anti-social behaviour), employability and emotional wellbeing. Alex Macgregor, PGA Professional at Addington Court GC, said one of his students was regularly excluded from school for losing his temper, but during the programme Alex was able to teach him breathing and visualisation techniques that allowed him to ‘control his fizz’, enabling the child to avoid exclusion for the entire length of programme.

To see the impact of the programme, please click on the video on the Golf Foundation home page:

The Golf Foundation team would also welcome contact from organisations and groups that are interested in testing how the Foundation can adapt Unleash your Drive for young people in different school and community settings using the charity’s established adapted programmes ‘Tri-Golf' and ‘StreetGolf’. Groups in this category should contact Golf Foundation Chief Executive Brendon Pyle on brendon@golf-foundation.org to state their interest.

The Unleash your Drive workshops will take place at the following venues: Essendon Country Club in Hertfordshire (June 12), Prairie Sports Village in Burnley (June 18), Garforth GC in North Yorkshire (June 26),  Exeter Golf and Country Club (June 27) and The Belfry in the West Midlands (September 4).

To book a place on an Unleash your Drive workshop, please click here.

(Picture: Leaderboard Photography)

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