“We can provide young people with the life skills to help meet the challenges of modern day life!”


Welcome to Unleash Your Drive

Our ambition is to help change the face of mental wellbeing in schools, by introducing golf to children from all backgrounds.

Unleash Your Drive is a comprehensive programme that can be delivered over six weeks by any teacher thanks to our easy to follow printed and digital resources, specially adapted Golfway kit and our built-in evaluation.

Nine mental toughness tools are embedded within the programme, which will help prepare children for all the challenges that life throws their way.

It’s time to make a difference!

Our initial drive is through primary schools. If you are a secondary school, EXPRESS YOUR INTEREST HERE instead.

If you are a PGA coach, Community Golf Instructor or a Coaching company who work in schools please visit our ‘EXTERNAL SERVICE PROVIDERS’ webpage here

Read more about the journey to Unleash Your Drive here.

Corporate sponsorship opportunities available – want to help deliver our programme? Contact our team today.

A Bit More Background

Why Did We Get Here?

The benefits of golf to mental health and wellbeing are known by everyone who plays the game and backed by extensive research and evidence.

However, in working with schools, youth clubs and golf clubs, along with many youth clubs and golf clubs, along with many youth-centred organisations, the Golf Foundation has become increasingly concerned about the worrying decline in young people’s mental health, particularly since the Covid lockdowns in 2020 and 2021.  This trend is reflected by the headline findings of a number of high profile reports in recent years:

  1. 1 in 6 children aged 7 to 16 years has a probable mental health disorder (NHS Digital, November 2022 – The Mental Health of Children and YP in England Survey)
  2. Suicide is the largest cause of mortality for young people under 35. Suicide rates have been increasing in recent years (Office for National Statistics, 2020)
  3. Girls are twice as likely to experience poor mental health than boys by the age of 18 (Steer Education: The Impact of the pandemic on students’ mental health)
  4. Children from disadvantaged backgrounds are two to three times more likely to develop mental health problems than their peers who are more socioeconomically advantaged (Commission on Young Lives, November 2022).
  5. 96% of young people reported that their mental health had affected their schoolwork at some point.  They told us how the lack of support they received for their mental health prevented them from fully taking part in and enjoying secondary school. They described how low mood, fatigue, depression and difficulty concentrating meant they had little energy or motivation to complete schoolwork. This was strongly supported by school staff, who nearly all agreed (95%) that a lot of students or some students had their schoolwork or learning affected by mental health problems (MIND: Not making the grade).

How Did We Get Here?

Since 2017, we have been specifically interested in the strong body of evidence that supports the value of teaching mental toughness to young people through sport:

  • Mental toughness is significantly associated with academic attainment, school attendance, classroom behaviour and peer relationships in secondary school students (St Clair Thompson at al, Educational Psychology, 2015)
  • Mentally tough adolescents are associated with better physical and psychological health (Gerber et al, Stress and Health, 2013).

Working with mental toughness experts, Yeast Ltd, we devised a proven method of teaching mental toughness skills to young people using golf and measuring its impact. The initial pilot project, developed and tested over a period of 18 months with golf coaches and young golfers across clubs in the SE of England, demonstrated a 20% increase in confidence, commitment and overall mental toughness in the juniors involved. Similar findings have since been replicated with non-golfing pupils in secondary schools and with county girls squads in Lincolnshire and Essex.  At Baysgarth Secondary School in Lincolnshire, the Unleash Your Drive mental toughness programme was delivered to all 600 pupils using golf over the summer term in 2023.

Using adapted golf equipment, training for teachers and coaches, and lesson plans focused around developing 9 specific mental toughness tools, the Golf Foundation is able to deliver the life skills to all young people in any environment on or away from the golf course. This includes schools, youth clubs, faith groups and junior sections of golf clubs.

Through a range of strategic partnerships with other youth focused organisations such as the Youth Sport Trust, StreetGames and Liverpool FC Foundation, the Golf Foundation has the ability to reach millions of young people away from the traditional golf course environment.

What’s In It For Your School?

The chance to help change the mental wellbeing of your children, and the chance for them to try a different sport. Your monitoring also allows us to create bespoke case studies like this one which helps your school with Ofsted and governmental reporting, as well as producing child-specific numbers to show progress on a mental wellbeing journey.

1: NHS Digital November 2022 . 2: Commission on Young Lives, November 2022

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