Schoolchildren from across the region enjoyed their first try at golf as guests of the Golf Foundation and the DP World Tour at the BMW PGA Championship.
One group of young students from Claydon High School in Suffolk certainly experienced a day to remember when they played quick-fire games of Golfway at the Junior Golf Zone in the Spectator Village at Wentworth; with a number relishing a fun chipping lesson with Sky Golf presenter and friend of the Golf Foundation Inci Mehmet.
The boys and girls then took a short walk to the innovative stand run by OCEANTEE, the Official Sustainable Products Supplier of the DP World Tour. Inci introduced youngsters to the OCEANTEE team so they could learn more about this company’s role in helping to make golf more sustainable.
As guests of the DP World Tour, the Claydon High School students combined these interactive visits with walking the famous Wentworth golf course to follow the excitement of the Celebrity Pro-Am of the BMW PGA Championship, where some of the biggest names in golf including Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm and Shane Lowry shared the fairways with personalities from TV, sport and music.
Gavin Forsyth, Golf Foundation Regional Development Officer, said: “We were all so impressed with the enthusiasm of the students from Claydon High School. All through the week at Wentworth we were meeting children and their families to discover what golf is all about, and we welcomed a range of groups from schools and the community, courtesy of our friends at the DP World Tour. It was brilliant that the Claydon High students’ visit could also be combined with OCEANTEE to make this day great fun and educational for all concerned.”
OCEANTEE founder Ed Sandison said: “Our aim is to educate golfers about the importance of sustainability and inspire them to think about the small changes that make a big difference. So to work with the Golf Foundation and welcome so many young people to the stand was fantastic. Educating people at a young age makes such a difference. We hope that by combining it with fun activities this will make for a long lasting impression that they can take back into their schools and homes.”
Claydon High School has become very much focused on offering the opportunity to try golf for its students through its link with the Golf Foundation. The charity is taking golf into 1,000-plus schools, and linking these to junior-friendly golf clubs via accredited PGA Professionals, as part of its national HSBC Golf Roots programme.
In total, 50 students from Claydon High enjoyed their experience at Wentworth, organised by Head of PE Andy Wilshaw. Mr Wilshaw said: “All the students loved their day; they really look forward to it because they’re excited to attend such a globally important golf championship.
“We talk about it in the build-up, there is a real buzz as we travel to Wentworth and for youngsters, some brand new to golf, the experience here is fantastic. Following the event we share the story back at school with everyone, students writing it all up for our newsletter. It has been great to see our Golf Foundation friends, to learn about sustainability with the team at OCEANTEE and a big thanks to Inci Mehmet for coming over for a chipping challenge and inspiring us all with her golf skills!”
The Golf Foundation was present during the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, courtesy of the DP World Tour, helping to grow the game with its partners England Golf as part of a joint national junior golf strategy.