The Golf Foundation has thanked the European Tour for helping to raise the profile of junior grass roots golf during the recent BMW PGA Championship.
Throughout the week at Wentworth Club, the Golf Foundation was able to demonstrate what a great sport golf can be for young people, at a specially created area in the tournament’s tented village. Hundreds of children aged three years to 17 had a try at golf before watching the stars in the tournament, in what is believed to have been the busiest week yet for the Golf Foundation at this event.
Some 22 schools in England brought along groups of children from a range of backgrounds and abilities, including young people with special educational needs (SEN), where they received coaching and played Tri-Golf games with PGA Professionals, the team at ‘Community Golf’ and Golf Foundation staff.
The activity was made possible by the European Tour, which is one of the Golf Foundation’s strongest supporters, and the charity used the occasion to present its HSBC Golf Roots programme to spectators, guiding families about golf opportunities for their youngsters this season.
Feedback from all the school groups present has been positive as children and staff were clearly inspired by their surroundings. Steve Tindall, Head Teacher at Holy Family Catholic Primary, in Surrey, said: “The children (and adults!) absolutely loved it and it was the perfect way for Year 6 children to be rewarded after all the hard work they put in to preparing for SAT’s. This day at the BMW PGA has now cemented itself as the number one school trip at Holy Family and I’ve got my current Year 5 children already looking forward to next year!”
All the schools involved have become part of their own local HSBC Golf Roots projects which nationally reach 500,000 youngsters a year through golf. HSBC Golf Roots encouraged just under 40,000 young people to pass through the gates of a golf club in England last year and some 3,500 of these youngsters becoming junior members.
Working with national partners including England Golf and the Professional Golfers’ Association, the aim is to reach 50,000 young people coming into the golf clubs each year by 2018, with 10,000 playing golf regularly at club level through the initiative.
The European Tour and the Golf Foundation will work together again to present the Golf Foundation Pro-Am at London Golf Club in October. This is always the charity’s largest fundraising event of the year and is sure to be extra special in 2016 as the Pro-Am celebrates its 30th anniversary, with the European Tour having supported the Pro-Am from its first year.
The Golf Foundation was helped during the BMW PGA Championship by the innovative grass roots golf company, Community Golf. Community Golf is working hard to introduce the game to older people, people with disabilities and young people, by utilising community spaces and working with golf clubs in London, Surrey, Sussex and Kent.
Brendon Pyle, Chief Executive of the Golf Foundation, said: “This charity is really grateful to the European Tour for offering us this fantastic venue during this highly important week in European golf. It really helped to raise our profile as a progressive charity which is working to make the game more accessible to young people and helping to raise participation and retention levels in our golf clubs.”
HSBC Golf Roots and the Golf Foundation www.golf-foundation.org