The PGA has agreed to become a supporter of The All-Party Parliamentary Golf Group.
It joins the R&A, England Golf, Sky and Sports Publications Ltd, in backing the Group, which comprises of Members of all major political parties and from both Houses of Parliament.
The Group has the singular remit to “support the sport of golf.”
Sandy Jones, chief executive of The PGA said: “The PGA is committed to developing and growing the golf in the UK and is delighted to support the Parliamentary Golf Group. We look forward to working with the Group to ensure that the health, social and economic benefits of the sport are realised at both the local and national level.”
Karl McCartney MP, the Group’s Chairman and Member of Parliament for Lincoln, welcomed The PGA’s support.
He said “I am pleased that The PGA has agreed to support the Parliamentary Golf Group and look forward to working closely with them, as the Group continues to support the sport at all levels. Golf is a sport for all ages which provides opportunities for people to stay fit and healthy, and The PGA’s support will help the Group to provide a strong voice for the sport.”
The All-Party Parliamentary Golf Group hosted a reception on behalf of the England Golf Partnership (EGP) at the Palace of Westminster which included a welcome from Sports Minister David Evennett.
Evennett spoke of golf’s huge popularity, as the country’s fifth most-played sport, its tremendous reach across all backgrounds and abilities, and its part in supporting the Government’s sports strategy to tackle inactivity.
“It is clear to me and to the Government that the benefits of golf are very far reaching,” he said, listing its massive contribution to the economy, to environmental issues and to individual and community wellbeing.
“Golf is a very good community sport which is why the government is committed to increasing golf participation,” he said as he urged his audience to “Keep doing what you are doing. Golf is a very, very important part of our society and our country and one of the great sports our country can offer.”
EGP Chairman Nic Coward remarked: “Our role is to bring the whole sport together to make our case, not just to Parliamentarians, but also to people from all walks of life around the country. We want to encourage them to play and, indeed, to play golf more often.”
He went on: “I think we can do a lot to hit the Government’s agenda on physical and mental wellbeing, and individual and economic development.”
With the Ryder and Walker Cups on display, Parliamentarians and key figures from across the golf industry discussed ways to attract more people to play golf and to encourage them to play more often.
Among those who addressed the gathering was PGA professional Richard Shaw who is the founder of Community Golf CIC which is a not for profit organisation ‘taking golf into the community’.
England Golf’s Chief Executive Nick Pink described the role of EGP and the importance of golf participation in England: “Golf is a major sporting, social and economic contributor to constituencies across the country, and the fifth largest sport by participation. The England Golf Partnership is committed to growing the game, and has a clear plan to encourage even more people to take up the sport and stay fit and healthy.”
The EGP brings together the amateur governing body, England Golf, and the PGA to grow the game with the support of the Golf Foundation, other industry partners and Sport England funding. It co-ordinates the development of golf in schools, local communities, clubs, counties and in talent pathways to national teams with PGA pros playing a key part at every stage.
England Golf Partnership www.englandgolfpartnership.com