National charity the Golf Foundation’s mini campaign ‘Golf is Open for Kids’ is now encouraging young people and families to find their nearest HSBC Golf Roots Centre and enjoy safe coaching and playing opportunities.
(Image: Matt Greaves Photography)
The Golf Foundation team was delighted that tennis legend and HSBC ambassador Tim Henman volunteered to support a safe group coaching session at one of these Centres, at Frilford Heath Golf Club, last weekend (July 18), to showcase how a welcoming golf club is the ideal place for youngsters to Start, Learn and Stay in the game.
Families with children keen to give golf a try can find their nearest HSBC Golf Roots Centre by using the ‘Find your local junior friendly facility’ function on the homepage of our website.
On Saturday, Tim Henman supported the club’s PGA Professional Alex Beckett and Golf Foundation Regional Development Officer Paul Aitkens (himself a PGA Advanced Professional) as they held two sessions of coaching of four and five children in each class, with all the appropriate social distancing and safety procedures. Tim was able to help boys and girls of different ages and abilities in the sessions, and as a 2-handicap golfer, he clearly enjoyed passing on a few of his own shotmaking secrets.
A short video of the coaching session with Tim will now be used to promote the Golf Foundation’s HSBC Golf Roots programme that gives more than 500,000 young people each year the opportunity to enjoy a golf experience; nearly 45,000 extra youngsters being given a taste of club golf, with nearly 130,000 pupils receiving coaching from a PGA professional in their school.
The Golf Foundation’s Golf is Open for Kids campaign has been supporting families with young golfers during the week that would have been the 149th Open Championship; the charity is supported each year at The Open by The R&A. The Foundation team has also offered advice and guidance for safe coaching at golf clubs and also in schools with groups of up to five young players at a time (guidance can be viewed here.)
Tim Henman said: “I’m delighted to be involved in this campaign and to help highlight the great work that HSBC does with the Golf Foundation through HSBC Golf Roots, an initiative that gives half a million children the opportunity to try the game each year. Golf has so many health and well-being benefits and helps teach mental resilience and life skills to young people who take up the game. These life skills are now more important than ever and I’m thrilled to add my support to the Golf is Open for Kids campaign.”
Tim added: “The work that the Golf Foundation does with HSBC Golf Roots is so important because it’s about getting the younger generation involved and the important aspect of that is they have got to have fun. When they do have fun there’s a really good chance that they will want to come back and play the game.
“If you’ve got these different types of fun drills they will want to continue to play the game in the future. That’s where I think tennis and golf are interesting because they are games for life. You really can play them for ever.”
Golf Foundation Chief Executive Brendon Pyle said: “We would like to thank HSBC for suggesting that their ambassador Tim Henman could visit a junior coaching session at a local golf venue. It was very generous of Tim to support our coaching at Frilford Heath Golf Club; he was inspirational with the youngsters, as we knew he would be, helping us to make the clear message that Golf is Open for Kids again.
“Frilford Heath GC did a fantastic job for this special coaching session which demonstrates what to expect from an HSBC Golf Roots Centre in action. We were very grateful for the support of PGA Professional Alex Beckett, who put in a great deal of effort to ensure the day was a success and made us all very welcome.”
Throughout the #GolfisOpenforKids week, for all young golfers (including those who can’t access club or school learning at present) the Golf Foundation created a dedicated website page with golf skills, learning challenges, quizzes and more.