The Golf Foundation is reporting a steady rise in the number of its ‘Community Links’ venues. These are golf facilities that work with the Foundation to create pathways linking school golf projects to the golf club or driving range, thereby helping youngsters to find their feet as golfers and start working towards their first handicap.
There are now 222 Community Links venues. Club volunteers and PGA professionals at all of these centres provide youngsters with the Foundation’s official structured learning programme, the Junior Golf Passport, which teaches them the technical skills of golf and also the positive attributes of the sport, such as honesty, respect, perseverance and concentration.
The Foundation’s Community Links initiative is carried out in support of the work of the national golf partnerships as they grow the game. Its purpose is twofold – to take golf into the local community by encouraging golf facilities to offer taster sessions in schools and youth groups using Tri-Golf and Golf Xtreme adapted golf programmes, and to make golf more accessible to the community by offering further opportunities for young people at the golf club or facility, using the Junior Golf Passport.
Brendon Pyle, development manager of the Golf Foundation, said, “We are now forging ever stronger links between schools and golf clubs through Community Links and the Junior Golf Passport is playing a pivotal role in this initiative. By using the Junior Golf Passport youngsters are learning all about golf, from the basic swing to the long and short game. They are also experiencing the psychological benefits associated with golf, learning attributes like honesty and respect that can help them in their day-today lives.”
To be part of Community Links, a golf facility has to work with at least one school offering taster sessions, and demonstrate a commitment to certain child protection standards. Benefits of being involved include the Golf Foundation Support Pack, which is a strong resource for junior golf leaders and available only to Community Links coaches, and also support from the Golf Foundation’s Regional Development Officers. Community Links facilities can also apply for a discretionary grant of up to £1,000.
The Golf Foundation has created 21 new Community Links venues in the last few weeks, following recent funding from Sport England, through the National Sports Foundation, and The R&A.
Golf Foundation www.golf-foundation.org