The first South East of England ‘Get into golf’ week has swung into action with activities in seven counties to inspire more people to play the sport.
The week began with flagship event at Leeds Castle in Kent, at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire and on Brighton seafront at Hove Lawns, where golf zones were set up and hundreds of passers-by took the chance to try the game.
The week continues until 2 June with around 80 offers of free tasters, low-cost coaching with PGA professionals and club membership opportunities in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire, as well as in Kent and Oxfordshire.
England Golf regional development officer Andy Willems commented: “This is the first South East Golf Week, it’s got off to a great start and we’ve created lots of interest in the game.
“We’ve got many more events and activities taking part across the region and we can promise a very warm welcome to everyone who is interested in taking up golf.”
South East Golf Week is part of the national Get into golf campaign and all activities are listed at www.getintogolf.org It’s being organised by the network of County Golf Partnerships in the region, which bring together the men’s, women’s and professional organisations to grow the game.
At LeedsCastle the inflatable net was in constant use as visitors flocked to take the free 15-minute lessons, while putting and family games (pictured) were also popular. County development Officer Gary Bason was joined by fellow PGA professionals Steve Purves of Leeds Castle, Tim Milford of Pedham Place and Jason Muller of TudorPark to provide tuition and there was more support from volunteer Evonne Harmer.
“It was a really good day”, said Gary, who is based at Sittingbourne Golf Centre, was the 2011 PGA South Region Coach of the Year and last year was recognised by Golf World magazine as one of Britain’s top 100 teachers. “We had a lot of interest and many of our visitors seemed interested in further coaching.”
Over at Blenheim Palace, PGA professionals Mark Grieve, from Iver in Buckinghamshire, and Andy Taylor from nearby Kirtlington, were also kept busy. Their visitors included a member of the team staging a jousting display at the stately home – and who took to the net in his medieval garb.