Tiger Woods urges clubs to offer free golf21st January, 2014 by Alistair Dunsmuir
World number one golfer Tiger Woods has urged golf clubs to give children free rounds of golf.
Woods was commenting on the policy by Mission Hills Shenzhen in China, as revealed last year by Golf Club Management, in which anyone under the age of 16 can play on its Zhang Lian Wei course, described as the best par three golf course in the world by the USA’s Golf magazine, for free.
Woods said other venues around the world should adopt the same policy.
“I think it should be duplicated around the world,” he said.
“It’s definitely a model that people should be looking at.”
Tenniel Chu, vice chairman of Mission Hills Group, explained why the policy was brought in. “Junior golf development has always been a central pillar of our strategy. We very much hope that this will benefit junior golf development right across the region as people increasingly see China as a top golfing destination for junior development tournaments and golf leisure,” he said.
The R&A said the policy would lead to more youngsters playing golf.
Dominic Wall, The R&A’s Asia-Pacific director, said: “This is a wonderful initiative for junior golf and Mission Hills must be congratulated for showing leadership in this area. This will no doubt lead to many more children having the opportunity to pick up a club for the first time and try out the game.”
The initiative came as two 14-year-old Chinese boys, Andy Zhang and Guan Tianlang, qualified for two majors in 2012 and 2013, and 12-year-old Ye Wocheng played on the European Tour last year.