Funding for the continued development of County Golf Partnerships in England has passed the £300,000 barrier with more than 23 now in place and a further 6 under discussion.
Through England Golf Partnership funding, the English Golf Union (EGU) and English Women’s Golf Association (EWGA) allocate cash awards to support the formation of a CGP. This brings together representatives from the Men’s County Union, the women’s County Association and the County PGA to implement a golf development plan under the ‘growing the game‘ banner.
Richard Flint, EGP development officer, said, “We are delighted with the take-up and the fact that so many counties have seen the benefits of working together on the many initiatives which a CGP has access to.
“The funding is a key part to their success but so is the ability to share best practice, follow a dedicated development plan and receive support from a network of regional development officers.”
Success stories include The BB&O Golf Partnership which is now in its third year. Participation opportunities for beginners have trebled through golf clubs offering taster sessions in the Free Golf Coaching scheme and increased links with schools have been beneficial in offering basic golf coaching to juniors.
PGA professionals throughout the area are appreciating the benefits of these types of schemes in terms of future revenue and through partnership funding for Level 1 coaching courses, volunteers have also received appropriate training to support the initiatives.
Overall take up of all initiatives including GolfMark is impressive, with the county development officer being fundamental to this ongoing promotion. Junior girls‘ membership has seen an increase of 7% over the 3 counties and the Union has also reported an increase in men’s membership.
Through working in partnership, BB&O have received sponsorship from INVESCO and are also eligible to receive funding through Sport England’s Club and Coach project. This exciting scheme will help the structure from grass roots to elite, further developing golf within the area.
Gloucestershire County Golf Partnership has recently undertaken their first annual review and through activities conducted through the partnership has seen an increase in participation and golf club activity.
Don Harmer, chairman of Gloucestershire commented “The partnership has concentrated the minds of those trying to drive the participation in the game forward. Its continuance will bring much success to golf clubs and those involved with the game for the foreseeable future.”