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Why We Must Encourage Our Juniors to Play Golf

junior-golf-uk

It has never been more important to encourage our young girls and boys to actively pursue sports. In fact, despite the UK holding an approximate 56,205 junior golfers, it is reported that just 8% of children are actively participating in the sport and unfortunately it seems our junior girls are most at risk of falling by the wayside.

In 2016, England Golf reported that the average golf club in England will have 25 members under the age of 16, but less than 3 of these will be female. Astonishingly, it has also been reported that more than 1 in 2 male golfers will take their sons to play golf on the green, but just 12% will think about taking their daughters along too.

Some organisations are working hard to increase junior participation – and female participation overall. Take for example, ‘Golf Roots.’ HSBC Golf Roots is the Golf Foundation’s national development programme that provides the benefits of golf available to young people. Indefinitely, the purpose of the cause is to make golf appealing, accessible and an enriching experience that all young people can take advantage of.

Admirably, there are now 400 golf clubs delivering the charity’s flagship scheme. Each is an approved junior-friendly club with great facilities that will reach out to schools and the community in order to provide young people with a fun and safe introduction to the green – led by a qualified PGA Professional Coach. Ultimately, the aim is to encourage regular play and a move into full golf membership.

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Photo credit: dvidshub.net (commons.wikimedia.org) Junior Golf 

Within the same programme, junior golfers can also gain access to a ‘Junior Golf Passport’ – a national, structured learning programme for children aged 6-12 years, which is endorsed by the PGA. The multi-layered programme has the potential to turn a novice golfer into a junior golfer fit for membership at a fully-fledged golf club.

This perhaps presents a fun and interactive way to get your little ones primed and prepped to join the family golf club (if you have one) or even to boost their confidence and drive on family leisure days spent exploring numerous crazy golf courses. After all, the editor of Women and Golf has stated: “In most other European countries golfers join as a family and more often than not, they play golf as a family” – markedly increasing not only junior golf rates, but female junior golf rates too.

Certainly, some initiatives are in place to encourage girls specifically. Flagship initiative, ‘Girls Golf Rocks’ – in partnership with England Golf and the County Associations – provides taster sessions, weekly coaching and opportunities to play at Par 3 courses. All emphasis is put upon creating a nucleus of girls that play golf whilst having fun, making friends and gaining invaluable confidence. Incredibly, 600 girls have enjoyed their first taste of golf through this scheme, and this growth is set to continue.

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Photo credit: dvidshub.net (commons.wikimedia.org) Junior Golf 

Evidently, importance lies upon our junior sportspeople and the encouragement and support they are entitled to. If we don’t act upon this issue now, we will be at risk of hindering the next generation and their talent and passion for sport – all of which should be celebrated; never limited.

Don’t forget, if you have a junior golfer in your life, look to Golf Support and their range of junior golf clothes and accessories for all-important on-the-green inspiration.

Feature image credit: Maria Chavdarova Mavrona/Shutterstock 

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