Crown Golf Academies is to expand its network of academies to 14 this winter, cementing its position as the largest provider of golf academies in the UK.
New Crown Golf Academies are being opened at The Bristol GC (Bristol), Orpington GC (Kent), The Chase GC (Staffordshire), Oak Park GC (Surrey), South Essex GC (Essex) and Paultons GC (Hampshire) and will be added to eight that were established in the last 12 months.
Meanwhile, coaches from the entire network are on course to provide golf to more than 270 schools in the coming months in an initiative being spearheaded by Group Academy manager, Rob Spurrier, in partnership with the Golf Foundation. Said Rob, “An over-riding aim of Crown Golf and Crown Golf Academies is to develop grass roots golf.
“By linking to schools we are able to introduce golf coaching to children in a structured, fun way and at the same time establish their regional Crown Golf Academy as an important facility in their community.
“Making the link between the golf that is being provided at school and each local golf club is essential if the game is to grow.”
With 33 clubs and more than 50 courses nationwide, Crown Golf is the UK’s largest golf course owner/operator. Many of its clubs run successful junior sections, which are expected to grow as the new academies roll out in parallel to the schools initiative.
John Weir, Crown Golf chief operating officer, said, “We are delighted to be working closely with organisations like the Golf Foundation to grow grass roots golf. They are very successful at helping to create links with schools and securing funding, while we are able to provide a large-scale golf coaching resource.
“While every new Crown Golf Academy we open adds a new dimension to its home club, it also shows how golf can support government objectives of increasing the numbers of schoolchildren who take part in physical education.”
Crown Golf Academies has formed relationships with several School Sport Partnerships to deliver golf at schools – including 50 around Chelsfield Lakes GC at Orpington, Kent, and 70 close to the Chase GC in Penkridge, Staffs.
The School Sport Partnership programme (formally known as the School Sport Co-ordinator Programme) was established in 2000, in support of government targets to increase the percentage of school children who spend at least two hours each week on high quality physical education (PE) and school sport to 75% by 2006. This target has since been increased and extended to 85% by 2008.
Added Rob Spurrier, “Working in this way allows us to introduce golf to children of all ages – progressing from TriGolf and Golf Xtreme through to structured coaching at a Crown Golf Academy and even culminating in clinics at The English Open next year at St Mellion International Resort.”
Crown Golf www.crown-golf.co.uk