Grants encourage 16,000 youngsters to get into golf

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Almost 16,000 boys and girls received golf coaching in the year to the end of March, thanks to an investment of nearly £90,000 by England Golf.

Of those, just over 2000 youngsters have gone on to become junior members of golf clubs.

The total of £87,900 was paid as Junior Development Grants to GolfMark clubs and stand-alone driving ranges which hold the RangeMark accreditation. Altogether, 293 facilities each received grants of £300, which they matched.

The money was spent on a range of opportunities for members and non-members – one-off tasters, structured courses and regular coaching sessions – and encouraged 15,891 juniors to take part in golf.

Almost a quarter of the youngsters taking part were girls (24%) and most of those involved were not club members (68%). The under-14 age group accounted for 76% per cent of the total. Almost 1000 juniors (6%) came from ethnic groups other than white British, while 365 (2%) had a disability.

This year, England Golf has launched a new ‘Play More Golf’ fund, offering grants of between £500 and £1500 for projects which encourage people of all ages to play the game more often and which promote club membership.

The grants are available to all affiliated clubs and to driving ranges which have been awarded RangeMark. The closing date for applications is 30 May 2014.

The money must be spent on activities, coaching programmes or offers which encourage regular participation and lead to club membership. These must take  place between 1 July 2014 and 31 December 2014 and should include follow-on opportunities. Activities supported by the fund should be focused on one or more of the following areas:

•    Supporting new adult players or returners to golf to play regularly
•    Sessions to attract women and girls, with emphasis on the social aspect of golf
•    Regular, structured coaching, playing and competitive opportunities within clubs for juniors, both members and non-members
•    Sessions to encourage disabled people to play golf

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