St Mellion offers free memberships11th February, 2014 by Emma Williams
St Mellion International Resort in Cornwall, one of the premier golf clubs in the UK, has announced it will give 25 youngsters free memberships and coaching for up to six years.
The announcement comes as Europe’s Ryder Cup captain has expressed his support for a government scheme that reduces the cost of golf memberships for children.
St Mellion, which is part of the Crown Golf group, has embarked on a search for local youngsters aged between 12 and 18, who will each be granted full membership and free lessons from the club’s PGA teaching professional Jason Avery.
The club, which already runs a free membership scheme for under-10s, is also extending it to include under-12s.
“This will be a game-changer here at St Mellion,” said David Moon, St Mellion’s director of golf, “not just for our junior section but also for the way we develop long-term members at this golf club. Our goal is to create a strong, loyal and competitive junior team who are each developing their involvement in golf at their own pace. And over time, we believe they will flourish not only as better golfers, but also as young ambassadors for St Mellion and everything it stands for.
“This is our chance to create a golf club for the future.”
Simon Wood, Cornwall Golf Development officer, commented: “It’s fantastic to see St Mellion offering such a great way to get more juniors involved in the game. The fact that such a prestigious club is investing time and money in creating a pathway to encourage young golfers to reach their full potential, sets a superb example to the rest of the British golf industry. This new scholarship will certainly help to develop new talent in Cornwall, and I think that it marks St Mellion as one of the south west’s most progressive golf clubs.”
Meanwhile, European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley is backing Scottish agency ClubGolf’s bid to get more children into golf by supporting a £20 ‘Junior Membership Offer’, which is available across Scotland.
Funded by the Scottish government, the scheme – which returns for a second year – offers youngsters involved in ClubGolf coaching a voucher that can be redeemed at ClubGolf clubs against the cost of the child’s first membership.
“Becoming a member of a golf club offers children so many things; not least the chance to play this great game and have fun out on the golf course, but also the opportunity to learn the etiquette and manners, which sets our sport apart from so many others,” said the Irishman.
“The £20 Junior Membership Offer, therefore, is a terrific incentive to make that all-important first membership even more affordable for families and it would be great to see as many youngsters as possible take advantage of it.”
In 2013, more than half of all first-time junior members joined a club after taking part in ClubGolf coaching (50 percent of boys and 61 percent of girls).
ClubGolf manager Jackie Davidson hopes assisting parents with a £20 saving, which could reduce junior fees by more than half, allows a great number of these young novices to join a club.
“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 ongoing funding support,” she said.
“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 for the foreseeable future.
“Hopefully, over the coming months, we’ll see that our £20 discount has made a real impact for kids and clubs, and, ultimately, created more lifelong members, who will be so important to Scottish golf clubs in the years and decades to come.”
First minister Alex Salmond added: “Scotland is the home of golf – we want to ensure this sport has a bright future, which means generating and sustaining an interest in golf from an early age.
“Clubs help keep this great game alive and we therefore have a duty to offer access to as many youngsters as we possibly can. I am delighted to support this superb offer for children who are involved in ClubGolf, giving them the chance to take up a discount on their first junior golf club membership.
“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 2014”