Scottish government funds junior discounts11th February, 2013 by Alistair Dunsmuir
The Scottish government is funding a £20 discount off most first-time golf club memberships for children between now and the end of April.
The initiative, backed by a pledge of £2 million of state funding between 2014 and 2018, is aimed at safeguarding the health of Scottish golf clubs and improving the performances of top Scottish golfers of the future, as part of the legacy of the 2014 Ryder Cup, which will be held in Gleneagles in Scotland.
The average cost of an annual junior golf club membership in Scotland currently stands at £67.
To qualify for the discount, the child must be involved with ClubGolf, Scotland’s junior golf programme. His or her parents need to download a form from the ClubGolf website, complete it and return it to ClubGolf. The voucher will then be made available to redeem from the child’s ClubGolf club, of which there are more than 300.
“I’m delighted that we have been able to bring such an incredible offer to children taking part in ClubGolf coaching in schools and clubs, and owe a great deal of thanks to the Scottish government for their funding,” said ClubGolf Manager Jackie Davidson.
“As well as introducing as many young people as possible to golf ahead of the Ryder Cup in 2014, it’s our mission to increase the number of junior club members in Scotland over the next five years.
“Hopefully, over the coming months, we’ll see that our £20 discount has allowed more youngsters than ever to become a member of a club for the first time this year.”
More than 40,000 children were introduced to golf through ClubGolf in Scottish schools in 2012, representing a record 81 per cent of P5s, at whom that stage of the programme is targeted. However, just over 13 per cent of those went on to take part in Stage 1 coaching at their local golf facility.
“We’d love to see all of the juniors who enjoyed their first taste of golf last year become members for the first time in 2013,” added Davidson.
“Hopefully a saving of £20 will allow their parents to make that possible.”
First Minister Alex Salmond added: “Generating and then sustaining the interest of golf in Scotland is important for the future of this country and the health of Scottish clubs.
“So, I am delighted to support this superb offer for children involved in ClubGolf, giving them the chance to take up a discount on their first junior golf club membership.
“As the home of golf, we have a duty to offer access to this great game at club level to as many youngsters as we possibly can. Hopefully, with the help of the fantastic team at ClubGolf and offers such as these, more young people than ever before will decide to become club members for the first time in 2013.”