It has been twelve months since the launch of the EGU/ELGA Junior GolfMark Award and the national accreditation scheme has received a phenomenal response from affiliated golf clubs nationwide.
The GolfMark initiative, which identifies junior friendly facilities based on ‘coaching and playing‘, ‘club environment‘ and ‘child protection/duty of care‘ has now received almost 400 applications in its first year. To date 120 assessments have been conducted, with the majority having already reached the national standard.
Following these assessments, a number of positive trends relating to the development of junior golf have been identified, which also support more detailed findings from this years‘ Golf Club Membership Questionnaire (due to be published at the end of September).
A high percentage of assessed golf clubs offer equal access for juniors to enter competitions, with 93% offering at least 10 junior competitions per year. In terms of coaching, nearly every golf club covers all aspects of coaching (including short and long game, putting, bunker play, rules & etiquette and course management) and 81% provide cut down clubs for juniors to use. In 73% of golf clubs the majority of junior members are classed as active and 92% of golf clubs have junior friendly amenities, with very few restrictions.
Other encouraging figures show that 73% of golf clubs have links with schools, 61% have their own junior handbook, 94% have a relaxed dress code and 82% have social events for juniors and their families. Interestingly, GolfMark has also had a significant impact in educating golf clubs on child protection policy and procedures and a high number now have a working understanding of this.
Richard Flint, EGU Golf Development Manager comments: “These are encouraging results that show the positive impact of the GolfMark Award and the significance golf clubs are putting on junior development.”
The application procedure is simple and the EGU and ELGA encourage affiliated golf clubs to do so. A regional development officer conducts the assessment and provides ongoing support to golf clubs and dedicated individuals such as organisers, parents, professionals, captains, secretaries and managers.
For more information on Junior GolfMark go to www.ecomallbiz.com/iwm17/golfmark and/or www.golfgirls.org