As a new golf season nears The Professional Golfers‘ Association (PGA) is throwing its weight behind the Golf Foundation’s ‘Commit to Junior Golf‘ campaign.
The PGA, which contributes almost £25 per member to the Foundation through annual grants, discounted coaching and free lessons, is backing the call for golf club members to add a voluntary £2 donation to their annual subscriptions.
The golf charity hopes to raise £1m to plough into national junior golf initiatives, many of which will involve coaching and an introduction to the game through the work of PGA professionals.
PGA chief executive Sandy Jones said, “We‘re encouraging all UK-based PGA members to engage, support and influence their clubs in adopting the ‘Commit To Junior Golf‘ campaign.
“The PGA is fully behind the initiative and if every amateur golfer would contribute a sum, which is less than 10 per cent of that given by the professional golfers, then junior golf in the UK would be fully funded and allow us so much more development and activities.
“Many of our PGA members already support the work of the foundation through Tri Golf, Junior Starter Centres and coaching schemes and we recognise the importance of nurturing a new generation of golfers for the future health of the game.”
Mike Round, chief executive of the Golf Foundation, said, “It’s fantastic to have the PGA, both centrally and through its members, support the whole idea of the ‘Commit To Junior Golf‘ campaign and we would hope to see an uptake from clubs because of the PGA’s support.
“To have an organisation as significant as the PGA recognise the importance of investing in grassroots golf at community and school level is vital if the sport is to remain healthy and prosper.”
The PGA, which has 5,000 UK-based members, is striving to grow the game through the England Golf Partnership and initiatives in Scotland, Wales and Ireland including the clubgolf scheme north of the border which has set the ambitious target of introducing 50,000 nine-year-olds to golf by 2009.
One of the higher profile events for the PGA is its staffing of the R&A Junior Golf Centre at the Open Championship where annually PGA pros give more than 1,000 youngsters a free 15 minute lesson.