Girls Golf Rocks in Essex – the campaign to bring more girls into the game – has been recognised with a prestigious Golf Foundation President’s Award
Girls Golf Rocks was trialled in Essex in 2015, when it gave a taste of the game to 90 girls and was so successful that it is now running in eight more counties.
Its success in creating more opportunities for girls, with strong links to golf clubs, was celebrated this week with the Laddie Lucas Award, presented at Wentworth by Golf Foundation President Sandy Jones.
Girls Golf Rocks is all about attracting beginners to have fun, learn a new sport, get active and play alongside friends – with no pressure. Girl golfers from county squads act as ambassadors to share their enjoyment and inspire other girls.
In Essex, 12 girls were trained as ambassadors and they supported PGA coaches at The Rayleigh Club, Little Channels GC, Playgolf Colchester and Crowlands Heath GC who offered taster sessions and follow-on coaching programmes.
Over 90 girls attended the taster sessions, 31 girls played in a par 3 competition, 20 girls progressed into regular club coaching and six became club members.
The project involved the Golf Foundation, England Golf, Essex County Golf Partnership, Essex County Girls, and Active Essex, all working together to encourage more beginner girls.
The awards ceremony was attended by four of the ambassadors who were interviewed on stage at Wentworth by the Golf Foundation’s Regional Development Officer Katie Moggan. Their views on how golf can cement “great friendships, increase confidence and focus” and the small matter of “beating the boys”, went down very well with the audience!
The Golf Foundation is a nationally recognised charity that works with national partners to encourage young people to ‘Start, Learn and Stay’ in the sport. Its HSBC Golf Roots programme reaches 500,000 youngsters a year, creating a pathway from discovering golf in schools and the community to enjoying regular golf at golf clubs and driving ranges.
As a charity the Golf Foundation relies completely on the exceptional efforts of hundreds of junior organisers and ‘young leaders’ who mentor children new to golf, hundreds of PGA Pros who take the game into schools and welcome children back for club coaching, and the many families whose youngsters are discovering the game. In addition, the Foundation has trained a great many enthusiastic teachers who have embraced golf as a sport as part of the school curriculum.
The Golf Foundation’s new President, Sandy Jones, presented the ten awards, while the charity’s Chairman Stephen Lewis thanked The European Tour and Wentworth Club for staging the event and all the Foundation’s core funders and supporters for backing the charity throughout another year.
Caption: Sandy Jones, President of the Golf Foundation, presents the Laddie Lucas Award to Helen Tarttelin, the Essex County Development Officer, watched by Wendy Cook, Essex junior organiser, and ambassadors, from left, Ashley Chalmers, Lily May Humphreys, Ysobel Lush and Sophie Wheeler. (© Getty Images).