In The Loop

Need to know news from around the industry

The R&A announces £2 million funding to boost junior golf

What’s happened:

The R&A have pledged to provided £2 million to the Golf Foundation over the next four years to help encourage more young people to play golf and stay in the sport to boost membership.

What does it mean?

Schemes like Tri-Golf and Street Golf have been successful in helping the Golf Foundation engage young people in the sport at schools, sports centres, parks and multi-use games facilities across Great Britain and Ireland. They are hoping that more than two million youngsters will now be introduced to golf through those schemes as a result of this funding, while around 180,000 will get the chance to receive coaching through the Golf Roots Centres, which are junior friendly clubs that provide taster sessions in schools and sees the coaching delivered by PGA professionals.

The Girls Golf Rocks programme, which the Golf Foundation runs jointly with England Golf, will also give girls more coaching opportunities and will see those  participants mentored by existing volunteers who already work in junior golf.


Stephen Lewis, Golf Foundation chairman, said: “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.” Duncan Weir, The R&A’s executive director of golf development and amateur events, added: “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.”


  1. And five more counties sign up for Girls Golf Rocks in 2019


What happened:


The programme, which aims to get more girls playing the sport, will return and spread the recruitment programme even further across England.


What does it mean?


Cornwall, Hampshire, Lancashire, Lincolnshire and Worcestershire have joined the successful England Golf programme, bringing the total to 26 counties who will be running Girl Golf Rocks events. These will consist of free taster sessions, starting in May, followed by coaching courses with PGA professionals. Last year, more than 1,650 girls attended taster sessions with 1,200 of those taking on the coaching courses.


  1. Does your club offer corporate membership?


What happened:

A survey from golfing retailer, GolfSupport. com, revealed that more than 70% of clubs have no corporate membership options for businesses.


What does it mean?

Surveys can often say whatever you want them to but, having asked 218 golf clubs from 17 different towns and cities in England and Scotland, it is interesting to note that an overwhelming number – 161 (or 74%) did not have a single corporate membership option for businesses in their pricing structure. They then surveyed 258 businesses across the two countries, in a variety of different industries, and discovered that 165 of those would be interested in a corporate membership scheme to entertain clients or treat employees. Is the survey size simply too small, or is the idea of golf as a place to do business something that no longer applies? Whichever it is, it still seems a surprise more clubs aren’t catering to a potential market.

By Marie J. Taylor

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