You don’t have to come from a perfect background to play golf or be a success!
Welcome to the National Young Golf Ambassadors’ column! We are volunteers supported by England Golf and The Golf Foundation with the intention of changing negative perceptions of golf and increasing young people’s participation in the sport. In this month’s column (our first one), we want to highlight the importance of clubs opening their doors to young people from all backgrounds in order to get them started in the game. After all, what is the future for golf if young people aren’t given the opportunity to walk the fairways?
Lockdown lethargy? #Golfathome is one way to keep juniors jovial!
The UK is in a period of ‘lockdown’. England Golf state that all clubs, courses and facilities must remain closed and the message from the government is clear: STAY AT HOME, PROTECT THE NHS, SAVE LIVES. The COVID-19 pandemic presents challenges for us all, but how can your club ensure that juniors remain hooked on golf for when the crisis is over? Here are some ideas – created by young people themselves!
You could send out a weekly email to juniors and their parents in the form of a child-friendly newsletter. This could provide the juniors with drills to try at home, beat the pro challenges, golf-specific fitness exercises and recommendations for golf books or podcasts. You could also use the e-newsletter to find out what juniors want with regards to coaching and competitions when your club reopens.
Social media is an exciting place where people are using their creativity to continue playing golf throughout lockdown. Some of the trick-shots and challenges from home have been inspiring and shared via #golfathome. Why not use Instagram to set a different challenge every week for juniors to try (safely!) in their garden or living room? To get ideas for activities, you can follow @getgolfing on Instagram – we post new challenges regularly!
Did you have a junior medal in the diary for Saturday? Instead, why not organise a 9 or 18-hole lockdown putting challenge at home? You could make it as realistic as possible by giving the juniors a tee time and a scorecard (via email) and encourage them to video call the others in their ‘group’. Alternatively, you could run a rules quiz with 9 or 18 questions (see www.randa.org/en/rog/2019/pages/quiz)
The current situation is far from ideal, but you can still keep juniors engaged in the game with some creative thinking. For now, though, the most important message from the Young Ambassadors is STAY HOME and STAY SAFE.
And if you are a key worker during this crisis? A massive and heartfelt THANK YOU from all of us.