A total of almost 3,000 free lessons, many of them to school children in eight different countries, were provided by PGA professionals during 2011 under the European Tour’s scheme funded by the Ryder Cup European Development Trust and administered by Provisiongolf.
In the third year of the programme – one of many financed by the PGAs of Europe’s share of Ryder Cup profits – the number of lessons given at European Tour events across mainland Europe, increased by 869 compared to an excellent year’s activities in 2010.
As the European Tour and Provisiongolf’s annual report points out it was ‘Another great year working alongside the various European PGAs’, a year in which the PGA professionals gave a total of 2,856 lessons compared to 1,987 lessons in 2010.
“All the PGAs were fully supportive of the RCEDT activity,” adds the report “It certainly gives each of them a great platform to be present at their national championship, so they can connect and teach the golfing fans of their country.
“We gave a teaching assessment card to each golfer after their free golf lesson which also allowed the coaches to record the golfers’ swing tips down along with the contact details of the pro for future lessons.
“One reason that we gave more lessons in 2011 was that for the events where the children were still at school we had more school groups attending and receiving free tuition…which was great to see.”
The free community golf lessons were provided at European Tour events at such countries asPortugal,Spain,Italy,France,Sweden, theCzechRepublic,AustriaandIreland.
Provisiongolf erect eye-catching stands with suitable banners bearing appropriate logos at each of the European Tour tournaments that agree to participate and local PGA professionals man the stands to provide all-comers with a free lesson, many of them introducing young people to the sport.
Typical of the responses was this comment from PGA pro Filippo Barbé fromItaly’s Scuola Nazionale Professionisti and member of the PGAs of Europe’s Education Committee: “A practice area was prepared close to the driving range where everybody could receive a golf lesson and some gifts from the event merchandising.
“The response was really good with hundreds of children coming from the schools of many part of Italy to see great players playing on the course and to improve their ability or meet golf for the first time on the dedicated area.
“This is the kind of initiative which can really help in developing the game within the country and we thanks the Ryder Cup European Development Trust and all the people involved in the organisation for giving the BMW Italian Open 2011 this big opportunity.
Mikael Sorling, chief executive of the PGA of Sweden also commented “The PGA of Sweden are very happy over this event. To be present at ET tournaments this way is very important for our PGA and for our Members. The people that get coached this way will hopefully play better, more often and develop their game together with PGA Professionals in the future. Thank you for your excellent way of organizing this.”