The team of Regional Development Officers (RDOs) of leading golf charity the Golf Foundation is using information network ‘Twitter’ to broaden their communication of ‘Golf Roots’ and find new players from outside of usual golfing circles.
Golf Roots is the national initiative which makes golf more accessible to children from all backgrounds and abilities. Endorsed by The R&A, The European Tour, the national golf partnerships of England, Scotland and Wales, and including Ambassadors Lee Westwood and Denise Lewis, Colin Montgomerie will also be joining as President to help the Golf Foundation achieve the ambitious goal of introducing one million youngsters a year to the sport through Golf Roots by 2013.
To make this happen, brand new golfers are needed and should be attracted through all media. The seven-strong team of RDOs works with volunteers of all ages, teachers, PGA professionals, sports officers and, of course, youngsters as they create player pathways for children in the school and community sector, from classrooms and sports halls through to golf clubs and driving ranges.
The team is testing the potential of Twitter as a means of keeping in closer contact with its Golf Roots projects and sharing information with the wider public. RDOs have already reported interest from within the education network and a Ladies European Tour player is joining in with a local Golf Roots Tri-Golf initiative having read about it on Twitter.
Brendon Pyle, National Development Manager for the Golf Foundation, said: “Hopefully, more of these tweets will be picked up by non-golfers in local areas who might be interested to find out whether golf is a good new sport to try. These non-golfers won’t be reading about golf in papers, magazines, and rarely on websites.
“Our RDOs are involved in a huge amount of coordinated local and regional projects. We are finding that due to the need for getting messages across very quickly, and given the age demographic of many of those people we deal with, Twitter is proving an effective communication tool. It also fits well with the energy and enthusiasm our RDOs bring to their task on a daily basis.”
Brendon added that when the Golf Foundation is involved with high-profile junior grass roots public events (examples being in European Tour tented villages and the ‘R&A Swingzone’ during The Open Championship), Twitter will be an immediate way of communicating Tri-Golf activity involving Tour professionals and celebrities to the press and public, potentially widening publicity opportunities.
By region, Golf Foundation RDOs can be followed at:
- North West, Andy Leigh – @GolfRootsNW
- North East, John Wood – @GolfRootsNE
- West Midlands, Gareth Jenkins – @GolfRootsWM
- East Midlands, Martin Crowder – @GolfRootsEM
- East & North London, Katie Cooper – @GolfRootsE
- South East and South London, Andy Wright – @GolfRootsSE
- South West, Sam Stephens – @GolfRootsSW
- National, Brendon Pyle – @GolfRootsDM
Golf Foundation www.golf-foundation.org