This year’s Open Championship at Hoylake offers an excellent opportunity to profile the Golf Foundation and England Golf, as up to 4,000 children are expected to pick up a Tri-Golf club or golf club at the event.
Mike Round, chief executive of the Golf Foundation, said, “The Golf Foundation is a charity committed to making golf accessible to children and our presence at the Open Championship is a wonderful opportunity to promote all the initiatives we deliver on behalf of England Golf.
“From our introducing Tri-Golf and Golf Xtreme to schools and local sports partnerships all over the country, our growing role in increasing formal links between schools and golf clubs and our commitment to reaching children from all backgrounds, including those with special needs, The Open offers a great platform for us to communicate these messages. As a formative experience, this event, where children can join the crowds and watch the best players in arguably the world’s best golf tournament, can be vital in itself for inspiring champion golfers of the future.”
Each year the R&A encourages young golfers by staging the R&A Junior Golf Centre in the tented village. The PGA also enjoys a strong presence for the whole week, with PGA professionals giving free lessons to young players every day.
The Foundation’s regional development officers will introduce visitors to Tri-Golf, the modified golf game for children aged five years and up, which is endorsed by the PGA (2,500 played Tri-Golf last year at St Andrews). More than 30 school groups from the area will be attending, including children with a range of special education needs.
Many youngsters are also expected to take part in an England Golf putting challenge, sponsored by PING. All a child (or adult) has to do to take part is contribute £1, which will then be donated to the Golf Foundation, with a chance to win a PING putter every day.
Despite their intense schedule in the build-up to competition, a number of Tour players find time to come and play Tri-Golf with the children. Nick Faldo, Nick Dougherty and Paul Casey are among those who have enjoyed Tri-Golf sessions in the past and last year Adam Scott, Brad Faxon, Sandy Lyle, Paul Lawrie, Patrik Sjoland and Soren Hansen gave up their time for the youngsters.
Golf Foundation www.golf-foundation.org