Golf industry support for The Golf Foundation was one of the subjects discussed at yesterday’s Annual General Meeting of the European Golf Industry Association. The industry association has provided funds to support junior golf since The Golf Foundation’s inception in 1952 through various different means. However, the Association is now considering setting compulsory annual levies on its members, raising around £50,000 per year for the development of junior golf. Spokesman for The Golf Foundation, Mike Round, said: “We will be delighted if this plan goes ahead, it will mean £50-£60,000 of much needed revenue each year and, of course, companies will still be able to help on an individual basis. It will also mean a much more structured revenue for us which makes it so much easier to plan for the long term.”
Since the Starter Centre Initiative was launched in March 1998 the number of juniors introduced to golf has exceeded 33,000 but The Golf Foundation has become a victim of it’s own success. There is a waiting list of clubs wishing to join the Starter Centre Initiative and 120 schools wanting to take part in the Schools Coaching Scheme. In neither case does The Golf Foundation have the funds to expand these schemes and bring yet more juniors into the game.
A decision on EGIA funding will be reached by the end of this March but the Executive Committee is optimistic that members will support the scheme. As Vice Chairman, Bob Clark, says: “In his or her lifetime a golfer will spend on average £12,000 on equipment and clothing, so it is easy to see that a small investment in junior golf will result in long-term benefits for the industry.”
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