Under the umbrella of The England Golf Partnership; the English Golf Union (EGU), English Ladies‘ Golf Association (ELGA), The Professional Golfers‘ Association (PGA), together with the support of The Golf Foundation and Sport England, have come together to produce a ‘Whole Sport Plan‘ for golf.
The plan is designed to fuel interest in the game and encourage sustained growth over the next four years following a £9.2 million boost from Sport England announced in February.
Norman Fletcher, manager of the England Golf Partnership, explains that this blueprint for the development of the game will have far reaching benefits for the future of the sport. “The England Golf Partnership is successfully working together to modernise the sport and increase participation over the next four years.”
Whilst the cost of delivering the plan ranges from £9.7 million in year one to £11.5 million in year four, the England Golf Partnership, which has established itself as a limited liability partnership, is confident of raising the additional funds required to deliver the proposed plan in its entirety.
“The 88 per cent increase in the annual grant from Sport England is a significant uplift, but further investment is essential,” said Mr Fletcher. “We are therefore hoping to increase funding from both golf and golfers by at least £720,000 by 2009.”
Nick Faldo, whose highly acclaimed Faldo Series plays a part in the plan said, “Exposing more people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to golf is something which I am absolutely passionate about.
“It has always been my intention to assist in bringing golf to as broad and varied audience as possible and I am sure the launch of the Whole Sport Plan will help the game move towards achieving exactly that.”
Golf clubs will be encouraged and supported to be even more community aware and family friendly in their approach to attract more players.
Roger Draper, chief executive of Sport England, highlighted the importance of ensuring golf is played in schools. As he explained: “The School Links programme will provide schools with grant aid, equipment, learning resources, training and office support to enable the new network of School Sports Co-ordinators to deliver golf within the school environment.
“Additional initiatives include the Golf Roots programme, which supports local authorities in the delivery of golf in inner city areas, as well as further opportunities to work with the emerging network of Specialist Sports Colleges, County Sports Partnerships and Regional Sports Boards.”
The Start, Stay and Succeed programmes aim to grow the game at all levels and have been designed to support both clubs and players of all abilities.
The ‘Whole Sport Plan‘ has been created to set England on its way to becoming the leading golf nation in the world by 2020. From 1st May the Chief Operating Officer will be Roger Moreland of Performance Matters.