The Golf Foundation’s major supporters have agreed to underwrite its activities for 2000 following the success of its development programmes during 1999. The operating deficit in 1999 was £239,917 (1998 surplus £34,722) caused by a substantial shortfall in budgeted income.
The Chairman, Ian Peacock OBE, told the Annual General Meeting at Wentworth Golf Club that an enormous amount was achieved in terms of golf development during 1999, despite the Foundation being unable to generate the income necessary to meet the demands for its coaching programmes. “While we had to use a substantial amount of our reserves to meet the demand last year,” he went on, “we have been assured by our partners, The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, the PGA European Tour and the PGA that they will underwrite the existing level of our activities for 2000.
“We have achieved our operational targets within the England Junior Golf Development Plan. Furthermore we have expanded our Starter Centre Initiative, admitting a further 81 centres which brings the total to 326, and appointed 4 regional development officers for England. Their role is to monitor Golf Foundation programmes and develop joint programmes in partnership with schools and local authorities.”
Mr Peacock continued, “ The Golf Foundation has been a victim of its own success. Whilst that is encouraging, it is vital that the organisation seeks additional funding beyond 2000 to meet the increasing requests for schools and starter centre registrations, both of which now have substantial waiting lists.”
Looking to the future, he said, “I am delighted that the Golf Foundation has appointed Michael Round as its new Executive Director. He has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the world of sports development, and I am sure that he can provide the energy and initiative necessary for the Foundation to fulfil its role within the game of golf ”.
To ensure that the Golf Foundation does not incur another deficit in the year 2000, a number of actions have been taken. To control expenditure registration fees have been introduced for the schools coaching and starter centre programmes. The idea is to enable the Foundation to approve, at an early stage, the number of schemes which it can support and to forecast more accurately the associated costs.
To increase income a number of new fund-raising schemes have been introduced, The PGA has launched a Millennium Appeal asking all its members to raise funds through a nearest the pin competition. The European Golf Industry Association has agreed to ask all its members to contribute each year a sum geared to individual company turnover. There will be a fund-raising lunch in December organised by the Golf Foundation with the European Tour and the PGA and, finally, the Golf Foundation will work with Sport England to try and identify new sources of financial support both centrally and at a local level.
The Foundation has received a donation “of extraordinary and unprecedented generosity” from a charitable trust based in Scotland. The gift, which has been made anonymously, is of cash and equities worth £1.7 million but there is a stipulation that the money must be used solely for the benefit of junior golf in Scotland. The Golf Foundation has had preliminary talks with the Scottish Golf Union and Scottish Ladies Golf Association with a view to setting up a partnership to administer the fund.