The Junior Golf Alliance is looking set to launch in September following 18-months of planning, bringing with it a range of training and support services to golf coaches of children and young people.
Members of the Junior Golf Alliance will have access to a wide range of online training courses, workshops and coach support services. In addition, they’ll receive a regular newsletter with articles of best practices from experienced junior coaches from around the world as well as being part of a community of coaches.
The overriding aim of the Junior Golf Alliance is to improve the experience of children in golf. Moving the sport of golf to one side, the Junior Golf Alliance will focus on the experiences of the children – how they learn, how they develop, what it takes to truly engage them and provide opportunities to play, learn and compete.
It’s an overriding principle co-founder Neil Plimmer believes in passionately. “All golf coaches know about golf but are seldom experts in children. This is completely the wrong way around. Primary School teachers aren’t experts in every subject they teach – but they are in how to engage children and enthuse and motivate them to learn.
The Junior Golf Alliance will also be tackling the subject of junior golf coaching from a business angle by looking at how coaches and clubs can generate meaningful revenues from coaching golf to children and young people. It’s a question Neil is more than qualified to answer having established JOLF some five years ago. The coaching programme now has over 400 children engaged in 10 weekly sessions during school term time, along with many more in school holiday camps, children’s parties and in-school sessions.
Neil continues, “There’s a lot of pro-activity at the moment with regard to junior golf coaching – and that’s great. However, ‘roll-ups’ and free sessions all the time, however well intended, isn’t the answer. How committed are the children (or more relevantly the parents) going to be with free, ‘turn-up when you want, if you want’ lessons? Moreover, how motivated are coaches going to be to offer their services for, at best, a modest subsidy – at worse, for free?”
“It’s because of this that junior coaching is often given to the trainee or assistant golf professional. So we often have a situation where our most inexperienced coaches are coaching our most inexperienced newcomers to the game. That can’t be right”.
Recognising that an in-depth knowledge of the golf swing and mechanics, or indeed an advanced playing ability, are of lesser importance when it comes to coaching children, membership of the Junior Golf Alliance will be open to people from all backgrounds, not just PGA golf coaches, who have an interest in introducing children to the game of golf.
With a website due to launch in a few weeks’ time, the Junior Golf Alliance have launched their social media channels in preparation for September: