Yorkshire golf is set to benefit from an exciting new partnership that will help drive the efforts to grow the sport across the county.
The move will give the county’s 200-plus clubs and golf facilities a powerful ally in the continuing campaign to encourage the next generation of players to take to the fairways and on into club membership opportunities.
The formation of the Yorkshire County Golf Partnership will bring together the expertise and skills of the Yorkshire Union of Golf Clubs, the Yorkshire Ladies’ County Golf Association and the Yorkshire PGA.
The county has traditionally been one of the strongest in English golf and has a long history of producing top-class golfers and developing future players.
The partnership will support clubs in opening up new ways of bringing people into the sport, helping would-be players develop the skills to enjoy their time on the course, and showing the benefits of becoming a club member.
Yorkshire joins the England Golf Partnership's national network of county golf partnerships, which are able to share best practice and funding through its national partners, Sport England and the National Lottery, and are making it easier than ever to give golf a go.
The aims of the Yorkshire CGP will be to promote the game in the region, introduce more people to golf regardless of age, gender and background and to increase the number of members at affiliated clubs.
Clubs across Yorkshire will benefit from the additional support as they seek to retain and recruit members as well as increasing regular participation.
Through the network of county partnerships, the England Golf Partnership’s target, as outlined in its Whole Sport Plan, is to increase and widen participation in golf, from grass roots to elite level, and achieve the vision of making England the leading golf nation in the world by 2020.
Richard Flint, England Golf’s Participation & Club Support Director, said: “We are delighted that Yorkshire, with its proud record as a successful golfing county, has taken the step of forming a county golf partnership which will bring together extensive experience and knowledge that will allow the game to grow further to the benefit of all the clubs and those taking up a sport that offers so many health and social benefits.”
John Shaw, President of the Yorkshire Union of Golf Clubs, said: “The Yorkshire Union has joined forces with the Yorkshire Ladies’ County Golf Association and the PGA to form a County Golf Partnership. The funding which we receive will support our golf clubs in their endeavour to encourage participation in the game of golf, which will hopefully lead to an increase in golf club membership.”
Dawn Clegg, Hon Secretary of the Yorkshire Ladies County Golf Association, said: “The YLCGA feel that we will be will be in a strong position to take advantage of a whole range of projects and benefits. The CGP will have a key role working with clubs in Yorkshire and we should be able to encourage more people to get into golf thanks to our funding.”
Andy Herridge, Yorkshire PGA Captain for 2014, said: “On behalf of the PGA of Yorkshire, I am delighted that we have started a county golf partnership programme. Hopefully this will enable us to encourage and maintain the growth of golf within our region. I am looking forward to getting the ball rolling!”
One of the first tasks for the new body will be to appoint a county development officer who will put their ideas and objectives into practice.
The county golf partnerships seek to support Get into golf, a national campaign to inspire adults to take up the game and is run by the England Golf Partnership through its network of county golf partnerships, supported by Sport England and National Lottery funding.
Get into golf opportunities include great value beginner courses with PGA professionals. They are a fun and sociable way to start golf – and a great way to make new friends. The Yorkshire County Golf Partnership will be looking to engage with golf facilities to create opportunities in Yorkshire once a development officer is appointed.
Caption: The new Yorkshire County Golf Partnership was officially launched at the signing by (left to right) Andy Herridge, Yorkshire PGA Captain for 2014, Sandra Fenn, County Captain of the Yorkshire Ladies’ County Golf Association, and John Shaw, President of the Yorkshire Union of Golf Clubs