Royal Troon Golf Club, which staged the 2016 Open, is looking to the future with new initiatives providing opportunities for young girls and boys from the local community to get into golf and, in time, become club members.
This commitment to the next generation was seen most recently when more than 200 kids aged between five and 12 descended upon to club for one of the UK’s largest school golf festivals so far this year.
Working in partnership with the Ayrshire based GolPhinForKids Foundation, the PGA Professionals at Royal Troon are in the process of delivering a new golf education programme called MyPathway2Golf.
The brainchild of GolPhin, the Irvine-based junior golf equipment company, MyPathway2Golf is leading the way in introducing golf to young children and hence helping golf clubs recruit and retain young kids as members of their golf clubs.
Head professional Kieron Stevenson and his assistants Adam, Gary and Euan have invested over 300 hours of their own time for free to help get the project up and running, as Kieron explains.
“Attracting young kids into golf is absolutely essential as we as PGA golf professionals try and compete with other sports and activities,” he said. “We partnered with GolPhin to adopt their MyPathway2Golf system and easy-to-use equipment. It’s a holistic approach to golf and includes health, wellbeing, education and life skills at its core, the kids and school teachers love it.”
Calum McPherson, founder and MD of GolPhin added: “Our schools programme is giving primary school kids the opportunity to experience golf at an early age with their friends in a fun and supportive environment.
“This way we create the environment for kids to choose to play the game rather than parents trying to impose the sport upon their kids. We then link the schools and the kids to local golf clubs who make sure the positive journey continues.
“Doing this with our MyPathway2Golf online platform helps golf clubs make golf fun and rewarding for kids whilst keeping parents engaged with their kids progress.”
Arnold Clark, the Scottish-based car retailer, sponsors the school programme in Ayrshire, providing every child in the programme with a free golf club and safety practice balls to get them started. Company director David Cooper said: “We support local initiatives that can help kids get out in the fresh air, exercise and have fun.
“This programme is fantastic, our support helps the kids start off with the right equipment, which is easy to swing and makes it easier for the kids to enjoy the game.”
For more information, log-on to www.golphin.com