PING is to sponsor the England Golf Putting Challenge at this year’s Open Championship at Hoylake. Taking place during the whole of Open week at the R&A Junior Golf Centre, the putting challenge will give children the chance to show their putting skills while raising money for the Golf Foundation and its vital work in grass roots golf development.
For the second year in succession club manufacturer PING has generously agreed to back the event, donating a range of high-quality custom-made PING putters as prizes.
All a child has to do to take part is contribute £1 (parents/adults also welcome to play), which will then be donated to the Golf Foundation, going towards a range of the charity’s initiatives in primary, junior and secondary schools, at golf clubs and in local sports partnerships and community projects. All of these activities are designed to increase accessibility to golf for children as part of the ‘Start’ level in the England Golf Whole Sport Plan.
At last year’s Open at St Andrews, some 2,400 children, from five-years-old and up, entered the PING challenge, raising £2,434. To win the challenge this year, each child will have to hole three consecutive 12ft putts and then have their name drawn out of a hat. Winners then receive a PING putter custom-built to fit their needs and sent to their home from the PING factory.
John Clark, managing director of Ping UK, said, “We are delighted to support the putting challenge for another year during The Open and to offer our help in the development of junior golf, which is something PING cares passionately about.”
Mike Round, chief executive of the Golf Foundation, said, “PING is recognised as a company that likes to put something back into the sport and we at the Golf Foundation are hugely appreciative for this excellent support during The Open. The putting challenge is all about fun and I’m sure these great prizes will inspire a few star golfers of tomorrow.”
The PING England Golf Putting Challenge is just one of the activities going on during Open week for children. Around 4,000 youngsters are expected to visit the R&A supported Junior Golf Centre in the tented village. The centre is run by the Golf Foundation and the PGA. During the week, PGA professionals are expected to give more than 1,000 free lessons to children who visit the centre.
The Golf Foundation will also be profiling Tri-Golf, a modified golf game using colourful plastic clubs, soft balls and targets, all designed to get very young children hitting their first golf shots in a fun, safe environment. Tri-Golf is currently played by more than 300,000 children each year, and in schools is used as an educational resource, with the Golf Foundation providing worksheets for teachers on literacy and numeracy exercises based around Tri-Golf.
Golf Foundation www.golf-foundation.org