Four counties have been selected to work in partnership with England Golf over the next two years to get more juniors involved in the sport.
Cheshire, Durham, Lincolnshire and Somerset are joining the pilot project which aims to get more under-18s playing and joining clubs.
The latest England Golf Club Questionnaire, which is carried out every two years and tracks trends, shows a decline in junior membership. On average, each club lost three boy members between 2014 and 2016 and altogether juniors account for just seven per cent of club members.
Lee Dolby, England Golf’s Young People Manager, commented: “It’s vital that we address the challenges facing junior golf. These four counties have enormous commitment and enthusiasm for developing junior golf and involving more young people.
“I am very much looking forward to working with them over the next couple of years to see how much of an impact we can have and how we can inspire a love of golf to last a lifetime.”
Each of the four counties will have a bespoke plan which recognises their particular challenges and targets, including the need to involve and train volunteers. They’ll be supported by Lee Dolby and the England Golf network of club support offers and regional managers.
This will include offering access to research, workshops and educational resources and help with marketing to a younger audience.
Lee Dolby added: “By working closely with counties, rather than individual clubs, we can look at wider solutions which, eventually, we can share across the country.”