Anders Mankert, an award-winning PGA Advanced Fellow, made a special purchase this summer of 100 brand new 7-irons, and he has been putting them to great use ever since!
Mankert, a long-time fervent supporter of growing the game of golf, gave them to young people who took up his invitation to attend his free introductory kids sessions to find out whether they would enjoy the sport.
His target was to welcome boys and girls to his Leicester Golf Centre in Oadby where he and Tom James gave them tuition in the basics of the game. His main aim was to take the game of golf to kids who may never otherwise have had the opportunity to try it, either due to their cultural, or socio-economic background, or simply that their parents had never played the game themselves.
He explained: “There was a wonderful response and many of the youngsters who came along to learn the basics – about how to hold the club properly and how to hit the ball – most had never been given the chance to try it before so it was a genuine thrill to see the amazing reaction of the kids. To be able to give them all a new 7 iron to take away and have a go again in their local park or driving range will hopefully have planted a seed with some of them and maybe even create a few who will go on to enjoy a lifetime of fun in the game. The only rule was that when they outgrow the 7 iron, they must pass it on to another child who has never had the opportunity and hopefully the cycle begins again!”
“They were aged from three years, but the majority were older. They enjoyed the six weekly sessions so much that most of them have been back this autumn to join our regular weekend junior classes. And we have been delighted to welcome them again.
“These regular sessions see them wearing different coloured caps, similar to the belts in judo, as we monitor and develop their progress. This has proved highly popular with the youngsters.
“I am delighted with this response to this latest initiative and the progress we are continuing to make. Golf is a game for life and the younger the boys and girls are the better for getting involved. I am especially pleased to be able to welcome those who do not have a family member who plays, so may never have got the chance to try the game for themselves.”
In the past Mankert has organised free scholarships for young golfers and encourages totally blind and visually handicapped players, helping them to achieve great success. He is the only professional to be made an honorary life member of England and Wales Blind Golf – an accolade of which he is very proud.