EDGA has held a training workshop in Surrey, near London, to help develop the role of ‘Introducers’; these being specially trained volunteers and coaches who can reach out to people with a disability in the community, or welcome them to the golf club, and thus introduce more people with impairment to the sport.
This important potential new role could help to grow golf significantly. It is being shaped in a series of workshops across Europe over a three-month period, ahead of the launch of a full programme to be announced for 2020.
At Pachesham Golf Club last week, EDGA Director of Development Mark Taylor and President Tony Bennett hosted a four-hour workshop, which explained the philosophy of how Introducers, sometimes working as part of a team and often with PGA coaches, will be able to make a key difference at a time when EDGA (formerly the European Disabled Golf Association) is helping to rapidly increase inclusive opportunities in golf around the world.
“We were able to outline to those present some of the health enhancing and social inclusion benefits of improving golf access, and how the Introducer could play a key role in growing the game,” said Mark Taylor. “This is part of a process in which we are looking to finesse how an Introducer can work most effectively in a club environment and with appropriately trained coaches who can deploy their knowledge and skills in the most beneficial way.”
The practical elements of the course and feedback sessions were appreciated by the group which included, golfers with disability, PGA professionals, along with an osteopath/sports therapist.
Mark Taylor added: “Through this work there is a feeling that the landscape is changing. There is now recognition of the importance of getting golf on the menu of sporting options in medical and rehabilitation centres, hospitals and physiotherapy units.”
Mark added: “Training the Introducer, who is very often the first contact, will have a dramatic influence on retaining more people with disabilities in the sport. Once trained, a therapist, doctor or support worker will become an influencer in the choices that new participants make from their sporting options. Getting golf onto this menu can only widen our reach for new players.”
EDGA would like to thank the team at Pachesham Golf Centre for their hospitality.
Pictured top: EDGA Director of Development Mark Taylor (left) leads the workshop at Pachesham Golf Club