As many golf clubs have reopened this week, national charity the Golf Foundation is offering advice for clubs and PGA Professional coaches to help promote a safe return to the game for juniors.
Under the heading of ‘Don’t forget our young golfers!’, a key message for all clubs is to ensure that junior members or golfers involved in coaching programmes are given fair access to play the course in this period, when there has been a rush of demand by adults in some areas to get back to the tees.
The Golf Foundation is a charity that changes the lives of young people through an introduction to golf. Last year it introduced just under 50,000 young people to golf clubs across England, Scotland and Wales.
The Foundation’s new guidelines set out ways juniors can be welcomed back to the course, with an emphasis on safety, inclusion, club and parental support, fairness in play for youngsters, while encouraging non-golfing parents to learn about the game and their local club; thus potentially growing family interest in golf with new audiences.
Stephen Lewis, Chairman of the Golf Foundation, said: “Our charity is all about offering opportunity to young players and encouraging everyone at golf clubs to support their development. We understand that tee times will be at a premium at present; the adults quite rightly want to get back out there on the fairways, hence today’s message: ‘Don’t forget our young golfers!’
“The importance of accessing the course for children has been demonstrated through our initiatives such as GolfSixes League, which have created a love of the game, a desire to play more golf and ultimately an increase in junior membership at golf clubs. It’s vitally important that these children and juniors continue to access the game even in this time of restrictions in order to keep golf thriving.”
Stephen added: “Our new guidelines emphasise the need for safety. With this paramount in all our thinking and actions, our sport actually provides a great opportunity for children to enjoy all of golf’s accepted health benefits while other options are currently closed to them and their families. This is now a chance for the sport to engage with new audiences, with the right encouragement. At the 364 GolfSixes League fixtures held last year, we know that 38% of parents were non-golfers who enjoyed the warm welcome afforded to them at golf clubs across the country, so we must continue to encourage new families into the sport.”