When the Golf Foundation team heard they were getting a visit from the ‘Beef’ during The Open they were told to expect some fireworks. Andrew Johnston duly delivered – playing Tri-Golf with the kids with his now trademark joy for the game.
The Open Championship at Royal Troon provided the perfect showcase for the Golf Foundation’s HSBC Golf Roots programme which helps young people to enjoy the benefits of golf and encourages them to ‘Start, Learn and Stay’ in the sport through a unique community-to-club pathway.
Andrew Johnston appeared in The R&A SwingZone in Royal Troon’s Spectator Village and played a special Tri-Golf Challenge against local youngsters from the area.
Smiling and laughing with the kids, the Englishman played his part in ‘drive for show, putt for dough’, where he would hit the big shots so the boys and girls could make a birdie putt. Then Andrew took part in the against-the-clock ‘Open Tri-Golf Challenge’, which ran all week, where he beat five other Tour pros to be top of the pro leaderboard. Andrew then took his Tri-Golf form out onto Royal Troon and the rest is history.
Brendon Pyle, Chief Executive of the Golf Foundation, said: “Over the last decade we have had a good number of professionals visiting the SwingZone to help us promote our work to help grow the game in schools, communities and golf clubs but Andrew has certainly been one of the most cheerful, lively and fun of all. He was fantastic with the kids, encouraged them all, signed autographs and I think really inspired them. Beef’s great attitude is very refreshing and I’m sure he will have made many new young fans this week at Royal Troon.”
Andrew Johnston was one of five Open Championship competitors who made an appearance with the Golf Foundation thanks to the help of Titleist. Titleist also supported the Foundation’s Putting Challenge through the whole of Open week where more than a thousand children and parents emulated the likes of Stenson and Mickelson over 15ft putts for prizes.
The R&A, one of the Foundation’s major supporters, created ‘The R&A SwingZone’ in the Spectator Village at Royal Troon for Open week. Here, the Golf Foundation team of regional officers delivered golf activity in partnership with ClubGolf Scotland, while sharing the facility with coaches from the PGA (who gave free lessons to spectators all week) and welcoming children and their parents to enjoy this unique venue.
The Golf Foundation www.golf-foundation.org