New funding for Scottish golf clubs11th October, 2013 by Tania Longmire
A new funding scheme has been launched for Scottish golf clubs that don’t have qualified professionals but want to teach the game to local youngsters.
The ‘Roving Pro Fund’ offers a slice of £310,000 to Scottish golf clubs to employ a PGA professional to teach ‘Level 2’ coaching aimed at children who are no longer novices, at their site for 10 weeks.
Many facilities in Scotland do not operate with an on-site PGA professional and ClubGolf, Scotland’s national junior golf programme, recently announced that there is a shortage of Level 2 coaches in the country.
The money has come from ClubGolf, which is partly funded by the Scottish government, and from Ryder Cup Europe, ahead of Gleneagles hosting the tournament next year.
ClubGolf manager, Jackie Davidson, outlined the way in which the Roving Pro Fund would help to address a current shortcoming in ClubGolf Level 2 volunteers. She said: “The fund will support clubs in accessing funding to engage a qualified PGA professional from the local area to deliver a 10-week block of ClubGolf coaching.
“We have identified areas in which this need is greatest, where there are very few qualified Level 2 coaches and, as such, this is where the fund will be targeted.
“After the initial investment from the Roving Pro Fund, we hope that clubs will be able to afford to invite the professional back to coach in future years.
“As well as providing essential funding, creating ‘roving pros’ is helping to facilitate engagement between clubs and local pros, which can only be beneficial to the ClubGolf programme in these areas.”
She added that 51 golf clubs will receive the funding in the first of this three-year scheme. The number is set to drop to 29 in year two and 14 in year three.
The PGA’s chief executive, Sandy Jones, said: “Having a fund whereby both clubs and professionals can benefit is a terrific initiative and I’m delighted that clubs that aren’t able to have a full-time pro will now also be able to benefit from the pivotal part they have to play in the golf industry.
“The PGA professional makes a massive contribution to the growth and development of the game of golf, and this scheme will be an important facet of this at a junior level.”
First minister, Alex Salmond, added: “This new initiative will help children develop the skills they require to enjoy this great game and I am delighted that now even more youngsters will have the chance to work and learn alongside pros, who will inspire the next generation of golfers.
“Scotland is the home of golf and clubs are the lifeblood of this magnificent sport – we need to introduce the next generation of players and champions of the future to the game at an early stage. It is great to see that golf clubs across Scotland will benefit from the skills of some of the finest pros we have in our country.”
In order to access the funding, golf clubs will need to contact their ClubGolf regional manager, who will jointly apply for funding, both with the club and on the club’s behalf.