Alex Salmond: ClubGolf is a success2nd September, 2013 by Tania Sansom
Scotland’s first minister, Alex Salmond, has said he is ‘extremely encouraged’ by new data that shows that the government-funded programme, ClubGolf, is introducing large numbers of children to the game.
A survey of 81 percent of Scottish golf clubs has found that more than half of all the children that joined those clubs in 2011 and 2012 were introduced to the game via ClubGolf.
The figures are 50 percent for new boy members and 61 percent for new girl members.
This means that almost a third of all girl members of Scottish golf clubs and more than 14 percent of boy golf club members have come through the programme.
And clubs that have delivered ClubGolf have, on average, 91 percent more boy members and 77 percent more girl members than those not involved in the programme.
Funded by the Scottish government, ClubGolf uses golf clubs’ professionals to give access to the game to children, predominantly via free coaching and visits to schools.
Alex Salmond, said: “These figures are extremely encouraging and exciting, showing more and more young people participating in the game. I congratulate of all those at ClubGolf, who have been involved in getting a club into the hands of our young people across the country, laying the foundations for a love of the sport and Scotland’s incredible courses.
“To see more girls enjoying the sport is extremely encouraging. Scotland is the home of golf and if we are to continue to be the future of this great game then we must ensure it is open to all of our youngsters.
“We have some fantastic inspirational champions who can inspire young girls and boys: Catriona Matthew, Scotland’s first ever women’s major winner, and Paul Lawrie, a star performer in Europe’s triumphant 2012 Ryder Cup side being just two.”
An investment of £250,000 in 2012 supported the establishment of the ‘ClubGolf Festival’, including the first staging of ClubGolf camps, and the launch of a £20 junior membership voucher for youngsters looking to join a club for the first time. Nearly £12,000 of vouchers were redeemed across 93 golf clubs.
ClubGolf manager, Jackie Davidson, added: “Everyone in Scottish golf is delighted to have confirmed what we always knew to be true; that the ClubGolf programme has made a huge difference to the developing landscape of Scottish golf since its inception ten years ago.
“In particular, having more than half of all junior members now joining a club following ClubGolf coaching in schools or at their local club, shows the programme is really going from strength to strength and we expect these numbers to increase as we continue our efforts to improve the opportunities for young people to play golf.
“Everyone involved in the programme, however, knows that we can still do lots more to grow the game at grass roots level and our focus over the next few years will be to continue to build on what has been achieved and improve the health of junior golf in Scotland.”