Overcoming unprecedented times requires resolve, innovation and above all, extraordinary teamwork.
That’s exactly what the people at Golphin and its GolphinForKids Academy are doing to help kids, golf clubs and PGA professionals through the coronavirus pandemic.
The Ayrshire-based company, founded seven years ago, has been pro-active in keeping kids engaged in golf throughout the lockdown period with its new digital initiative, MyPathway2Golf@Home.
The idea was borne out of the successful launch of Golphin’s interactive app, MyPathway2Golf.
Launched in partnership with the PGA of America in January at the PGA Show in Florida, the game-development app has garnered great acclaim. Golf Digest even included it in its list of the “14 most exciting things to see at this year’s show”, reinforcing what partners such as the PGA of America, Golf Australia, PGA of Germany and England Golf already know – that when it comes to nurturing tomorrow’s stars today, nobody does it like Golphin.
Both the MyPathway2Golf and MyPathway2 Golf@Home apps offer an abundance of services and benefits which are instrumental in developing children’s golf skills as well as improving mindset, fitness, mindfulness and overall life skills.
The programmes include high-quality instructional videos, skills challenges, on-course scoring, leaderboards, management with calendar sync and personalised profiles. The PGA professionals and coaches can also customise online course creation in the MyPathway2Golf App to encourage practice and skill development.
Communication is also a fundamental part of the programme. Coaches can communicate directly with the children on a one-to-one basis or as a group through the app, assigning them with skills challenges and other tips to get fit and ready for golf. Parents are also sent notifications of all communication between the coaches and the kids, helping create engagement between the coach, club and entire family.
PGA professional Alan Tait, who oversees Golphin’s UK operations, said: “The most important aspect is the kids having fun, learning about golf and other life skills as they go through the different stages.
"The programme has six levels, or what we like to call our ‘Skills Challenge Pyramid of Progression’. Some little superstars might get through all six levels in one summer. For other children, it might take them two to three years. It doesn’t matter how long it takes.”
James Erskine, the head professional at Dumfries and County Golf Club, signed up to Golphin’s MyPathway2Golf App earlier this year and is excited about what it will bring to the club and also his own business.
“In 21 years of coaching, I have never seen a junior programme as good as this. It’s world class and there’s simply nothing out there like it. It also gives me and my assistants a structure and a platform to work from, which is invaluable. It brought a whole new wave of kids to the club, ranging from four to 14 years of age.
“I can’t wait to get started again after the lockdown period. I’m convinced this will ultimately lead to increased junior memberships and parents wanting to join the club as well.”
Until such times as the lockdown ends and golf can resume, Golphin founder Calum McPherson admitted to being worried that the momentum the kids had gained throughout the country via the MyPathway2Golf outlets would grind to a halt. That’s why he and his team adapted parts of the app to become MyPathway2Golf@Home.
“Keeping kids engaged and as active as possible at home is so important to family life right now,” he said. “Helping golf facilities and PGA professionals connect with their junior members can only be done remotely for the time being, so we’ve adapted our initial MP2G App to do just that.
“We’ve worked day and night to come up with MyPathway2Golf@Home. It’s proving to be a big hit with kids from all over the world registering – and it’s all absolutely free.”
MyPathway2Golf@Home is full of games, quizzes, competitions and coaches’ tips all created specifically to be carried out in the safety of the family home or garden.
McPherson added: “We ran a competition last week on our Facebook group with prizes ranging from a set of Golphin clubs to a goodie bag. Last week’s three winners came from as far afield East Kilbride, Porto in Portugal and Orlando, Florida. It’s been so successful, we’re running it every week for as long as lockdown lasts.”
Tait added that new Golphin products are also available to help keep kids playing golf during lockdown.
“We have developed a Play@Home pack which kids and parents can purchase. Packs include a kids’ 7-iron and putter, a bag of our oversized safety flipper balls, and a selection of coloured cones to help the children set up games at home.
“These are all discounted with all the profit margin going back to PGA professionals. We’re doing our best for the kids and the PGA members at the same time.”
To find out more, log-on to golphin.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To enter Golphin’s Facebook competitions, visit facebook.com/golphinforkids