OPINION

"The argument for golf being on the Scottish curriculum"

Golf In Schools

Those who were listening to The bunkered Podcast recently may have heard my rant on golf’s unhealthy relationship with schools in this country. 

I admit, I went off on one and my co-host, Michael McEwan, was frantically doing his best to shut me up. 

The root of my rant? Money. The best in the world will be playing for a share of $427million on the PGA Tour in 2022. THE PLAYERS is worth $20million alone. So, here’s my question: why isn’t every kid in this country playing golf when the riches on offer are that huge? 

This is the home of golf, right? We did invent the game.  

My nine-year-old son would never have played golf if it wasn’t for me or his golf-obsessed granddad (the man who single-handedly keeps the equipment industry afloat). But it shouldn’t be that way. I was forced to play rugby in school... yet there are only two professional rugby teams in this country. For some reason we still encourage young girls to play netball. 

Really? 

Golf is worth over £300million to the Scottish economy, with over 550 courses, and yet we don’t even scratch the surface in terms of encouraging kids to play the game. And I’m not talking about PR stunts with cameramen handing kids plastic clubs and asking them to smile. I’m talking weekly lessons, coaching camps, kids’ golf groups, competitions and such like. You know, like schools do with rugby... 

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I am aware that many Scottish golf clubs do significant work with kids and there are pros out there who have a genuine passion to get kids into golf. My own club’s junior programme is a success thanks to unpaid volunteers who want to help.  

It amazes me that, after millions have been ploughed into golf in Scotland, we do not have a sustainable programme for kids across the country that works. But maybe schools could solve that problem. 

I am a firm believer that should be on the Scottish curriculum. There was a brilliant programme on Sky Sports recently called St Andrews and had some inspirational moments from notable author and historian Roger McStravick on the influence of Old and Young Tom Morris on Scottish society. But how many kids these days know who they are and what these early trailblazers did for Scotland? 

If we teach kids about Scotland’s great heritage, including educating them on Robert the Bruce and Robert Burns, surely we can teach our kids about pioneers like Old Tom Morris and how he helped pave the way for Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods?

To me, there’s a greater argument for golf being on the Scottish curriculum than off it. 

Golf and Juniors - your thoughts!

Are you passionate about getting more kids into golf? 

What do you think puts them off? Money? The game's image? Something else? 

Perhaps you could spare a few minutes to give us your thoughts...

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