The advent of breakfast clubs across virtually all of the 32 County Golf Partnerships since the launch of the CGP initiative in 2005, has improved the communication, ideas and impact of those delivering the various schemes across the country.
PGA professionals, volunteer coaches and organisations and individuals who have a role to play in developing the next generation of golfers as part of the England Golf Partnership are regular exploring ‘best practice’ while deciding whether to have tomato ketchup or brown sauce.
The breakfast clubs have become a breeding ground for fresh approaches to coaching and sources of funding – and all before the ‘day job’ starts.
Fiona Brown, one of three PGA regional coach development officers for England, explained that there was a large degree of autonomy at each of the CGPs and that significant successes could be replicated across the country.
“There are a string of breakfast clubs across the County Golf Partnership which are incredibly popular and successful,” said Brown. “They are an opportunity for all of those involved to discuss issues at a local level and to just keep abreast of what’s going on. But there are also, on occasions, speakers or workshops depending on how much time is available.
“This has seen a number of the CGPs strike useful links. Mark Bennett, who was one of the speakers at the recent county academy coaches conference has developed good links with BB&O (Berks, Bucks & Oxon) CGP. There are others that have made links with universities and colleges, along with County Sports Development managers and schemes to enhance the work of the CGP.
“A lot of this has come via these early morning get-togethers, which is showing the enthusiasm and commitment of everyone involved to make them even more successful.”
The growth of the CGP has also brought extra funding into the game, with each of the existing 32 CGPs offering coach development grants to PGA professionals.
England Golf has developed a ‘Whole Sport Plan’ for golf with the aim of making England the leading nations by 2020. England Golf is a partnership of the PGA, the EGU and the EWGA with the support of the Golf Foundation and Sport England.
England Golf www.englandgolfpartnership.com/