The England Golf Partnership (EGP) is inviting golf clubs to take advantage of a coaching grant that helped more than 41,000 beginner golfers and improving new players last year.
The ‘Club Coaching Grant’, organised by the English Golf Union (EGU) and English Women’s Golf Association (EWGA), offers flexible funding to provide coaching for both adults and juniors. Its twin aims are to increase participation and sustain involvement in the game.
The annual £600 grant is available to those clubs which have been awarded GolfMark, the national scheme which identifies and recognises junior and beginner friendly golf facilities. Last year, using a slightly different funding structure, 519 golf clubs took advantage of the grant.
The partners of the EGP – the EGU, EWGA, the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) – supported by the Golf Foundation and Sport England – all play an active role in the initiative. Funding means that PGA professionals up and down the country can give more of their coaching expertise to new and improving players.
EGU and EWGA Golf Development Manager, Richard Flint, said: “We were delighted to see this initiative grow significantly last year. That the grant can be used flexibly and can be tailored to each club’s needs is a great advantage and we are seeing numerous examples of imaginative coaching programmes that help new players of all abilities. This work is very important in the ‘Grow’ and ‘Sustain’ elements of the England Golf Partnership’s ‘Whole Sport Plan’ for golf.”
Some examples of how grants are being used in 2010 include:
- Lexden Wood Golf Club in Essex staged a golf ‘road-show’ at a local shopping precinct. Here they offered two weeks’ free trial membership and free golf lessons. www.lexdenwood.com
- Mellor and Towncliffe Golf Club in Cheshire held its annual ‘Giggle Day’ for women, giving them free golf taster sessions, a fun competition and free follow-up coaching sessions. www.mellorgolf.co.uk
- Bude and North Cornwall Golf Club in Cornwall held coaching sessions for new golfers followed by coaching on the course and lessons on golf etiquette and the Rules of Golf. www.budegolf.co.uk
- Bramford Golf Club in Suffolk is holding four courses of six golf lessons for adults followed by half-price lessons during the first three months of membership for those who join the club. www.bramfordgc.co.uk
Participating golf clubs have to allocate part of the grant to free or discounted golf coaching sessions for adult beginners, while spending is also encouraged on juniors, women and girl sessions, black and minority ethnic, and disability groups. Clubs are actively encouraged to look at ways of continuing players’ involvement in the game through further discounted lessons, packages and offers. The ‘Recruitment & Retention Toolkit for Golf Clubs’ and Regional Officer Network can support facilities in sourcing ideas and information – www.golfclubtoolkit.org.
GolfMark is a national scheme which identifies and recognises junior and beginner-friendly golf facilities. Any golf club awarded GolfMark is also recognised by Sport England as a Clubmark facility, a national standard identifying quality sports clubs across the country.
Clubs awarded GolfMark that want to apply for the funding can do so up until 31st March 2011, either online at www.englishgolfunion.org/coachinggrant r by contacting 01526 354500.