In partnership with leading golf charity the Golf Foundation, the European Tour aims to make golf more accessible to children from all backgrounds and abilities. Golf Foundation-led coaching clinics will be held at five European Senior Tour events this summer.
The two organisations recognise that golf offers youngsters ‘skills for life’ in a game that can be played across the generations. European Senior Tour players have a wealth of experience that they can share with youngsters and this, plus the European Tour’s continued strong support of the Golf Foundation, has led the clinics to become an important part of the tournament diary.
Building on the success of the programme last year, the clinics will be held at the following events: The Handa Irish Seniors Open (Carton House), Ryder Cup Wales Seniors Open (Royal Porthcawl Golf Club), and De Vere Collection PGA Seniors Championship (De Vere Slaley Hall) in June; the Cleveland Golf/Srixon Scottish Senior Open (Fairmont St Andrews) in August, and the Travis Perkins plc Senior Masters (Woburn Golf Club) in September.
At each event, senior professionals will demonstrate some of their shot making secrets to groups of local youngsters, while talking them through all the basics of the short and long game. In previous years, Costantino Rocca, Eamonn Darcy, Gordon J Brand, Tony Johnstone, Andrew Murray, Glenn Ralph, and Kevin Spurgeon have been among the household names taking part.
Last year, after his clinic at the De Vere Collection PGA Seniors Championship, Tour player Andrew Murray said: “It’s very important to encourage youngsters and these clinics are also very enjoyable for us too. Golf has offered us a great life and if we Tour players can put something back and help to inspire a new generation of golfers then we are only too happy to help the Golf Foundation in this way.”
The majority of youngsters involved will be connected to Golf Roots initiatives that create formal links between schools and golf clubs and promote the structured learning programme the Junior Golf Passport. Local young volunteers will also be involved in the events, as the Golf Foundation aims to increase the role of volunteers in golf in support of the national golf partnerships of England, Scotland and Wales.
Brendon Pyle, National Development Manager of the Golf Foundation, said: “The European Tour’s backing to stage these clinics presents our development team with a wonderful opportunity to offer new youngsters a taste of golf in the best possible circumstances. Local youngsters will visit a leading European Senior Tour event, watch the best golfers in action and then even receive some teaching from these top professionals.
“Our team has worked with European Senior Tour players for a number of years now and the focus and enthusiasm they bring to these clinics is not just inspiring to the youngsters hitting shots but also to the young volunteers present and all our staff who are working at the grass roots of the game for the rest of the year.”
The European Tour has been a consistent strong supporter of the Golf Foundation, a charity committed to the sporting and social development of young people through golf. This year, the Foundation has also been invited by the European Tour to run junior activities at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth in May and to stage its annual awards ceremony at this venue during the week of the tournament.
European Tour www.europeantour.com
Golf Foundation www.golf-foundation.org