Club manufacturer PING is the sponsor the clubgolf ‘Putting Challenge’ at this year’s Open Championship. Taking place during the whole of Open week at the R&A Junior Golf Centre, the putting challenge will give children the chance to show their putting skills while raising money for the Golf Foundation and its vital work in grass roots golf development.
For the third year in succession PING has generously agreed to back the event, donating eight high-quality custom-made PING putters as prizes. All a child has to do to take part is contribute £1, which will then be donated to the Golf Foundation. He or she is then invited to attempt to hole three consecutive 12 ft putts and be entered into a daily draw to win a PING putter.
Mike Round, chief executive of the Golf Foundation, said, “We are delighted that PING has chosen to support the putting challenge for another year. This part of the R&A Junior Golf Centre activities is a big hit with visiting families and creates a real buzz during Open week as youngsters seek to emulate the great players out on the course. It has even been known for Tour players, visiting the centre to entertain the youngsters, to have a go at holing the three putts for themselves.
“PING is recognised as a company that likes to put something back into the sport and we at the Golf Foundation are hugely appreciative of this excellent support.”
John Clarke, managing director of PING Europe, said, “We are always delighted to offer our support to the Golf Foundation. The hard work they do to promote junior golf in this country is vitally important for the future of the game.”
Each year, the putting challenge is run by the national golf partnership from the country that hosts the Open Championship. In Scotland, the Golf Foundation supports clubgolf, the national partnership which by 2009 aims to create the opportunity for every child to have an introduction to golf by the time they are nine years old.
Supporting this aim, the Golf Foundation – a charity that is committed to the sporting and social development of young people through golf – will welcome many clubgolf groups to the Junior Centre during Open Championship week.
The annual putting challenge certainly appears to be a growing attraction. At St Andrews in 2005, around 2,400 children took the putting test while last year at Hoylake the challenge proved even more popular, with more than 3,000 youngsters having a go, raising a total of £3,244.