Robert Rock: Golf clubs still put children off from playing golf
Professional golfer Robert Rock has said golf clubs are still putting up barriers that prevent juniors from playing golf.
The two-time European Tour winner has also said that leading professionals can do more to introduce the game to youngsters, and stated that he would rather do that than participate in pro-ams.
Speaking to National Club Golfer, Rock detailed that golf clubs should be more inclusive towards juniors, including putting the better golfers in their scratch teams. However, in reality, many clubs put children off playing the game.
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“It still amazes how many barriers there are for juniors in clubs these days,” he said.
“When I was a junior, even though I was probably the best player at the club, I was allowed to play at weekends but only at certain times and with certain people, and that wasn’t very encouraging.”
Rock added that leading golfers should get more involved in the local communities they visit around the world in order to introduce the children there to golf – even if that would be at the expense of pro-ams.
“We should help in teaching the local school kids on a weekly basis wherever possible,” he said. “I would much rather do that than play in a pro-am which sometimes doesn’t serve too much of a purpose.
“I did some teaching with some really run-down schools in Pretoria. Each school brought 10 kids, so it was mayhem, but in a good way.
“Some of us seem to think that everyone knows about golf but most of these children had never seen anyone hit a golf ball, let alone play themselves.”
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Robert Rock added that he has an academy that helps golf clubs by introducing youngsters to golf and then improving their skills – to the point that they might want to join a club.
“At my academy we’ve been into the local schools to offer coaching for free and then invited whoever is keen down to our Saturday morning sessions,” he said.
“We now have almost 60 kids. There are no handicaps for the beginners but we are trying to get them to a standard where they can join clubs with a handicap.”