Global Edition

New ‘Golfway’ can grow school golf and reach more youngsters

1.08pm 16th July 2021 - Growing the Game

The Golf Foundation’s new Ambassador Nicola Bennett officially launched ‘Golfway’ in fine style this week in The R&A SwingZone, at Royal St George’s, on the eve of The Open.

New easy-to-play Golfway equipment is at the core of the Golf Foundation’s HSBC Golf Roots programme which will give a first go at golf to two million children from all backgrounds, in 7,500 schools, over the next five years.

As the best golfers in the world compete in The 149th Open this week, the national child-focused charity has set about introducing the next generation of youngsters to golf, and it all begins at this iconic golf championship.

The Golf Foundation team was delighted that its new Ambassador Nicola Bennett joined boys and girls from Sheldwich Primary School in Kent to officially launch all the new kit. It’s designed for young children of all abilities and allows games and practice drills, developed by the Golf Foundation, to deliver fun and meaningful golf sessions. The Sheldwich youngsters were guests at The Open courtesy of The R&A and right from their first shots, Nicola coached, encouraged and had fun alongside the children.

As a PGA Trainee Professional Nicola has proved herself excellent at working with juniors and all taking part clearly relished trying the inclusive new Golfway equipment. 

Nicola Bennett oversees a game at The R&A Swing Zone during The 149th Open at Royal St George’s Golf Club (Photo by Karl Bridgeman/Getty Images for HSBC)

Golfway is designed and produced by The Masters Golf Company, a new partner to the Golf Foundation, and Golfway has been created to play a key role in the Golf Foundation’s major new schools’ programme that has started in 2021 and runs for five years.

This programme links schools and local PGA Professionals together and provides four coaching sessions which progress children through to a fifth session at an accredited local golf club.

Within this new model, a local competition framework has been created that encourages schools to deliver inter-competition with neighbouring schools, either in physical fixtures or through online virtual leagues.

Golfway will also be used widely across the national extensive School Games network run by the Youth Sport Trust. The schools programme and Golfway all help to bridge the gap between those first hits in school and the first lesson at a golf venue with a PGA Professional coach.

Nicola Bennett hands out golf clubs at The R&A Swing Zone during her visit to The 149th Open at Royal St George’s Golf Club (photo by Karl Bridgeman/Getty Images for HSBC)

Chris Smith of Masters Golf said: “We are thrilled that the expertise we have developed over many years in junior golf, which has led to the creation of Golfway and the game format, ShortGolf, will now support the Golf Foundation’s drive to bring golf to a new generation of young people.” 

Brendon Pyle, Chief Executive of the Golf Foundation, said: “Our charity is delighted to be working with Masters Golf and delivering the new Golfway equipment, which is also the preferred schools’ kit for The R&A and PGA Tour. The Open provides a wonderful platform to showcase our new adapted equipment that will enable us to introduce more young people to golf from all backgrounds through schools and community projects.

“Thanks again to Nicola Bennett who is the perfect ambassador for the child-friendly equipment as she will be using Golfway to deliver golf to a new audience of young people in schools in London.”

PGA Trainee Professional Nicola, from Bush Hill Park Golf Club, has supported the Golf Foundation’s recent community golf project in East London, presenting a golf session for youngsters at Valence Primary School in Dagenham to tee it off and then lending her support to children from six schools last week in helping present the Crowlands Schools Festival, alongside Chris Jenkins, PGA Professional at Crowlands Golf Centre.

The Golf Foundation introduces youngsters to the game, from all backgrounds, creating golfers. The charity does this because golf can change lives, and #CreatingGolfers will be its hashtag for The Open week across social media.

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