The award was introduced in 2007 by the Golf Foundation and is presented to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to golf and has inspired youngsters to take up the game. Ian Poulter joins an illustrious club of previous winners that includes Gary Player (2007), Tony Jacklin (2008) and Lee Westwood (2009).
Ian receives the award not only in recognition of the way he has made the sport exciting in the eyes of young people, but also for the support he has given to junior golf and his commitment to a number of youth-focused charities, including the Golf Foundation and its Golf Roots programmes. Golf Roots aims to make golf more accessible to all youngsters and aims to reach one million boys and girls a year by 2013.
Mike Round, Chief Executive of the Golf Foundation, said: “Ian Poulter has worked very hard to become one of the best players in the world, while maintaining a sense of fun, sportsmanship and camaraderie with his fellow players, and we think this has been an excellent example to set youngsters. It is not surprising that so many young players say they have been inspired by Ian. He is highly deserving of our Spirit of Golf Award.”
In addition to his successes as a player, Ian has helped the Golf Foundation by visiting The R&A Junior Centre at a number of Open Championships to play Tri-Golf challenges against the youngsters and has supported fundraising efforts through his attendance at the Spoony Classic, which raises funds for Golf Roots.
For the performance motivated youngsters, he established the Ian Poulter Invitational – an annual event held at Woburn which provides 100 youngsters with the opportunity to benefit from Ian’s experiences whilst playing in tournament conditions. Away from golf, Ian supports the Dreamflight charity, which takes disabled and seriously ill children on their ‘holiday of a lifetime’, and the Willow Foundation, which aims to give young adults with life-threatening conditions a chance to escape the pressures of their daily routine.
Ian Poulter is due to be presented with his Spirit of Golf Award on Monday, 12th July, at The R&A Swingzone (the new name for the junior centre), in the tented village at St Andrews, at a special event involving local youngsters. The ceremony starts at 3:15pm.
Golf Roots www.golf-foundation.org