Leading golf charity the Golf Foundation has thanked seven of the Open Championship competitors for sparing their time to inspire youngsters visiting Turnberry.
Lee Westwood, Ben Curtis, Rory McIlroy, Ryuji Imada, Graeme Storm, Soren Hansen and JB Holmes all enjoyed quick-fire Tri-Golf challenges with boys and girls while offering tips and encouragement to the youngsters in the R&A Junior Golf Centre in Turnberry‘s tented village.
Lee Westwood teed up the week in the best possible fashion when he accepted the Golf Foundation‘s Spirit of Golf Award, which recognises his contribution to, and support of, junior grass roots golf. Previous winners of the award include Gary Player and Tony Jacklin.
Lee Westwood said: "I am very honoured to receive this award. I certainly owe a debt of gratitude to the Foundation for helping me as a youngster. Encouraging juniors is very important and it‘s great to see some youngsters here today who could one day be an Open Champion or Ladies‘ Open Champion."
The six other members of the magnificent seven all said they enjoyed their Tri-Golf experience. Tri-Golf is a game that is revolutionising the approach to introducing golf to youngsters under-12 in schools. The Golf Foundation is reaching more than 700,000 children through its national initiatives involving schools, communities and golf facilities in support of the national golf partnerships of England, Scotland and Wales.
One of the real Tri-Golf highlights of the week was Rory McIlroy‘s narrow victory over boys and girls who challenged him to a game of ‘Drive for Show, Putt for Dough‘.
Rory said: "I really enjoyed playing Tri-Golf. It‘s great for youngsters to get that first experience of hitting golf shots. Full credit to the Golf Foundation and all the work they are doing to get more youngsters involved in golf."
After his Tri-Golf challenge Ryuji Imada said: "I was able to play as a junior thanks to the support of my family. Youngsters need encouragement and this [Tri-Golf] is a great way to do it."
Graeme Storm said: "In my area back home in the north-east of England much is being done to make it easier for children to get into golf and I‘ve been happy to help where I can. We should all try to put something back and support the juniors."
Mike Round, Chief Executive of the Golf Foundation, said: "The attitude of these seven players has been so refreshing this week at Turnberry. There is no doubt that they will have inspired many of these boys and girls to take their golf further and enjoy the sport‘s positive benefits in the future. The whole Golf Foundation team would like to thank the professionals for giving up their time during very busy schedules."
Equipment manufacturer Titleist arranged the visits of Ben Curtis, Rory McIlroy, Ryuji Imada, and Soren Hansen. JB Holmes visited courtesy of Cobra Golf and Graeme Storm visited courtesy of TaylorMade-adidas Golf. PING Golf‘s Lee Westwood completed the seven in a memorable few days for the Golf Foundation.
Golf Foundation www.golf-foundation.org