Shropshire and Herefordshire has been chosen to work in partnership with England Golf to get more juniors involved in the sport.
The county joins Cheshire, Durham, Lincolnshire and Somerset in a project which aims to get more young people playing and enjoying golf.
Lee Dolby, England Golf’s Young People Manager, commented: “Shropshire and Herefordshire have a committed and enthusiastic team that really want to develop junior golf and involve more young people.”
“I am very much looking forward to working with them to see how much of an impact we can have and how we can inspire a love of golf to last a lifetime.”
The county is already deeply committed to growing junior golf. For the past 16 years it has run an excellent Peewee Tour involving junior golfers aged five to 11. Its coaching scheme gives opportunities to players to improve their skills and feature in county competitions and teams.
County Junior Organiser Charles Sievewright commented: “This is an exciting project for us to participate in as we are aware of a recent decline in junior golf numbers within our clubs in the county.
“We certainly need to stem this drop in numbers and turn this around. With the help from our hard working club junior organisers we are looking to increase the participation of kids playing golf in Shropshire & Herefordshire.”
One of the first effects of the project is the arrival of GolfParc equipment at Burghill Valley Golf Club. Head professional Andy Cameron and his team will be using it to take the game out to local people and show them that golf is fun and has a welcome for all.
The equipment can transform a wide range of recreational spaces, such as leisure centres, recreational parks, school halls and playgrounds, into small, fun golf courses for family play, learning or community competitions.
Andy commented: “We are excited to be able to use Golf Parc and feel it will offer us excellent quality in our coaching both here at the club and when engaging with the local community.”
Mark Romasiuk England Golf Club Support Officer for Shropshire and Herefordshire, added: “It’s fantastic to have this equipment to provide a more realistic experience to non-golfers, both juniors and adults, before they even set foot on the golf course. This is a massive positive, not only for Burghill Valley, but for the county and I am looking forward to seeing great results in the junior section at the club in 2019.”
The GolfParc equipment is being supplied to clubs in the five counties by sports business Factory Eleven which is supporting the project.
Peter Gray from Factory Eleven said: “We are proud to be working in collaboration with England Golf to support this project. We designed our GolfParc equipment to create a positive fun introduction to golf ‘wherever you want to play’ and it has been exciting to work with a wide range of our customers over the years to make impactful local golf programmes happen.”