England Golf grants helped more than 22,000 people to take advantage of coaching opportunities in one year at golf clubs and driving ranges.
The grants were available to clubs and ranges which respectively hold the GolfMark and RangeMark awards in recognition of their junior and beginner-friendly facilities. As a result of their activities over 7300 people have gone on to take follow-up golfing opportunities.
England Golf Development Manager Richard Flint commented: “Clubs and ranges are to be congratulated on the way they used the grants to encourage people to get into golf and to play more golf. These are very impressive figures.”
Just over 350 clubs took up the Club Coaching Grant in the year to the end of March 2013. They involved more than 18,000 people in coaching with PGA professionals. Of these, 75 per cent were adults and the split between men and women was almost equal: 51% were male and 49% female. A total of 6230 adults and juniors have gone on to take follow-on opportunities at the clubs.
All 352 golf clubs offered coaching sessions and activities for adult beginners; 203 (58%) offered sessions for members and non-members aged 14 to 25; 111 (32%) provided activities to support new adult members or new players to continue their participation; 78 (22%) offered sessions for families or priority groups, such as women; black and minority ethnic groups; and those with a disability.
The RangeMark Grant was taken up by 25 stand-alone ranges in the same period. They involved 4307 people in their activities, of whom 73 per cent were adults. Of these, 70% were men and 30% women. In all, 1134 people have taken follow-on opportunities as a result.
Ranges were able to use the grant for coaching with PGA professionals for adult beginners and juniors; for marketing material to promote activities; for beginners and/or junior equipment; and for other ideas to increase participation.
In the current year, to the end of March 2014, GolfMark and RangeMark facilities can apply for a new £300 Junior Development Grant. This is designed to help grow the number of boys and girls getting into golf and on to regular participation, by providing structured and regular coaching sessions and activities.
This grant is just one way in which England Golf supports juniors as part of its commitment to encourage the golf club members of the future.
In addition to the Junior Development Grant and to the Golfmark and RangeMark awards, England Golf runs the National Skills Challenge, supported by FootJoy, and publishes the Junior Organisers’ Handbook.
GolfMark and RangeMark facilities can also work with their local County Golf Partnership (CGP) and get involved with the successful recruitment and retention activities for new and returning golfers, aged 14 years and over.
The national network of CGPs encouraged more than 86,000 people to Get into golf in the year to the end of March – despite some atrocious weather, including the wettest summer for 100 years.
The CGPs support grass roots golf at county level and are an integral part of the England Golf Partnership’s (EGP) Whole Sport Plan for golf, which is supported by Sport England lottery funding. Their success has been growing steadily over the past four years and they have involved a total of 171,208 people in their activities since April 2009.
The partnerships are supported by the national Get into golf marketing campaign and they attract newcomers and returners to the game by offering free tasters and structured low-cost coaching with PGA professionals at Get into golf centres. They also forge relationships with universities, groups and organisations. See www.englandgolf.org/cgps for more information about CGPs.
Image courtesy Adrian Milledge/The PGA