The Golf Roots programme, a dynamic new initiative run by the Golf Foundation to bring golf to inner city children, joined forces with The European Tour at Wentworth Club during the semi-finals of the HSBC World Match Play Championship.
Two groups of youngsters, representing Golf Roots projects in Hackney and Birmingham, spent the day at Wentworth Club receiving an unprecedented ‘access all areas’ tour behind the scenes at one of the most popular events on The European Tour international schedule.
In order to highlight the dedicated work of the Golf Foundation and the fund-raising campaign for Golf Roots, The European Tour and Wentworth Club, together with the generous support of title sponsor HSBC, acted as hosts to leading BBC personality and broadcaster, Jonathan Joseph, aka DJ Spoony, a passionate supporter of the project which now runs in seven cities in England and Wales.
Over the last two years, The European Tour has been one of a number of supporters of the Spoony Golf Classic, a charity golf day organised by Spoony to raise funds for the programme. To date, the programme has benefited from over £130,000 of funds raised, but there is a constant need for more resources to match the demand from inner city centres.
Spoony kindly agreed to personally host and welcome the group and give them a unique experience of what golf can offer at the highest level. Many of golf’s leading names, who were present at Wentworth Club, also extended a warm welcome to these enthusiastic youngsters, including the BBC TV commentary team of Peter Alliss, Ken Brown, Paul Eales, Maureen Madill, Andrew Cotter and Hazel Irvine.
One of the highlights of the day was a photo-call in which the youngsters met winning Ryder Cup captain, Sam Torrance OBE – and posed for photographs with the famous trophy itself
Mike Round, chief executive of the Golf Foundation, said, “There is no question that the biggest period of growth for the Golf Foundation has been over the last ten years. Our successful school and community initiatives now reach 500,000 children per year and generate familiarity with the sport to the extent that many become committed golfers or new junior members.
“However, in order to maintain the momentum we need golfers and golf clubs to get behind our ‘Commit to Junior Golf’ fund-raising campaign which requests a donation of just £2 per annum. With additional funding, we will be able to satisfy the ever-growing demand for support.”
Fredrik Lindgren, marketing executive of The European Tour, said, “The success of The European Tour is directly connected to the growing interest in golf. With the Golf Foundation’s tireless work in not only introducing golf to youngsters, but also helping these youngsters grow on a personal level, we have the perfect partner in the UK.
“The Golf Roots programme is a brilliant way of introducing golf and its core values to youngsters of all ages and backgrounds who would not ordinarily choose to take up the game.”