The R&A has committed to provide £2 million to the Golf Foundation over the next four years to support its drive to inspire more young people to play golf and to encourage them to stay within the sport to boost membership.
The Golf Foundation will give over two million young people the chance to try golf for the first time using its Tri-Golf and Street Golf participation initiatives, which take adapted versions of the sport to young people at schools, sports centres, parks and multi-use games facilities in Great Britain and Ireland.
Around 180,000 youngsters will also be introduced to coaching through the Golf Foundation’s HBSC Golf Roots Centres, a large network of junior friendly golf clubs that provide taster sessions in local schools and coaching delivered by PGA Professionals.
Activities including the GolfSixes League and Girls Golf Rocks will focus on retaining younger golfers in the sport by giving them access to fun, competitive golf more regularly and establish a pathway for over 15,000 juniors to become members of clubs.
The Girls Golf Rocks programme, jointly run with England Golf, also forms part of the Golf Foundation’s commitment to supporting The R&A’s Women in Golf Charter and will deliver more coaching opportunities for girls as well as mentoring by existing volunteers who work in junior golf.
Duncan Weir, Executive Director – Golf Development and Amateur Events at The R&A, said, “We are very supportive of grassroots initiatives that aim to grow the sport by inspiring more youngsters into playing golf and encouraging them to go on to become members of golf clubs.
“The Golf Foundation has a proven track record of delivering innovative participation programmes together with our affiliates in Great Britain and Ireland and we are excited by its ambitions to grow participation in junior golf over the next four years and beyond.”
Stephen Lewis, Chairman of the Golf Foundation, said, “Working alongside our partners, the Golf Foundation is reaching increasing numbers of young people and our strategic objective of helping more young people to ‘Start, Learn and Stay’ in golf is designed to help protect the future of the sport.
“The R&A’s continued support is fantastic – from GolfSixes League through to The Open – it is an outstanding commitment. They are backing this charity to ensure golf is fresh and exciting for the next generation.”
The R&A SwingZone, which offers thousands of young people the opportunity to come and try golf for free in the Spectator Village during The Open each year, will also continue to be run in partnership with the Golf Foundation.
Over 4,500 individuals enjoyed attending The R&A SwingZone during The 147th Open at Carnoustie last season and were joined by 1999 Champion Golfer Paul Lawrie and HSBC Golf Roots ambassadors Tim Henman and Brian O’Driscoll.
(Picture: Leaderboard Photography)