The EGP attended the three-day event (30 April to 2 May) at the ExCeL Centre to help the show’s organisers demonstrate what a great sport golf can be for all ages and how easy it is to give golf a go.
PGA professionals were on hand for the whole event to give 372 free lessons to golfers of all ages, coaching the long game in specially created nets and the short game in an innovative putting and chipping area.
A visually exciting ‘Golf Roots’ zone welcomed boys and girls to hit their first full shots and putt at colourful targets using Tri-Golf and Golf Xtreme equipment. In total, exactly 500 youngsters (290 boys, 210 girls) enjoyed a fun form of the game that they can continue to play.
The EGP is made up of the English Golf Union (EGU), the English Women’s Golf Association (EWGA), The PGA, and is supported by the Golf Foundation and Sport England.
Partners aimed to use the golf show to reach out to new audiences from all backgrounds. Representatives from the county golf partnership network (CGPs) played a key role in providing information to visitors about not only starting out in the game but also opportunities to develop their golf in the club network; part of the EGP’s role of building the sustainability of the sport for the future.
EGP Chairman Bill Bryce said: “The partners were very pleased with the work they were able to do to both encourage new players and to develop the objective of keeping people playing golf as they go through life.
“Golf is a wonderful family sport and it’s our job to get more people playing and to create the conditions whereby they want to stay in the sport for life.”
Key personnel in the EGP played their part in an interesting round-table discussion forum set up by the show’s organisers on the first day. Sandy Jones of the PGA, John Petrie of the EGU, Jim Robinson of the EWGA and Mike Round of the Golf Foundation were able to talk to an audience of press and visitors on many positive areas of growing and improving the game in England, including developing talent strongly, the work of clubs to increase memberships, recent successes in encouraging more girl and women players into the game and the proven track record of making the game more accessible to children from all backgrounds and abilities.
The work at the event served the EGP’s objectives ‘Grow’ and ‘Sustain’, via England Golf’s ‘Whole Sport Plan’ for golf and its vision to ‘Grow the Game’.