In their own words: Robert Maxfield

Tania Longmire
By Tania Longmire June 7, 2019 10:55 Updated

The CEO of The PGA talks exclusively to The Golf Business about the crucial work PGA professionals are doing to introduce the game to children.

Robert Maxfield presents a £50,000 cheque to Ali Jodiyawalla, a member of the England Young Ambassadors group.

Working to develop junior golfers whilst not easy, can be very rewarding – now and in future years. The PGA, in partnership with the Golf Foundation, is supporting its members and their golf clubs in this important area on which the future of the game relies.

Whilst the challenge of recruiting new people into the game remains uppermost in the industry’s minds, it is sometimes easy to forget that the good work continues. I often refer to PGA members being at the ‘coal face’. Working day in and day out to deliver on the aspirations of the industry, whether it’s helping golf clubs to better succeed as a business, recruiting more women, or most importantly, encouraging children to try the game.

I say most important because as every industry will tell you, the earlier you catch the imagination and interest of a child, the easier it becomes to instil a life-long relationship with whatever the activity. This has been proven to be the case in golf time and time again. Former juniors coming back to the game in later lives after they have raised families, their work commitments are less demanding and they have more time, quickly become golf club members, rediscover the enjoyment and play well into their ‘golden’ years.

Robert Maxfield

Working with children is not easy. Golf clubs can struggle with seeing the value of a junior section which can be hard to recruit and then time consuming to maintain. They often bemoan the fact that a youngster quickly loses interest and by 18 has disappeared into the wide world and golf is forgotten. But each one that tries the game – they are an investment in golf’s future. Not all will reap dividends but the greater number we encourage at an early age, the greater the potential reward now and in later years.

The PGA remains a committed supporter to our partner in junior development, the Golf Foundation. They are doing some fantastic work and through their various programmes have now more than 50,000 youngsters trying golf in schools. We meet on a regular basis and remain a financial supporter of their development work.

But they can only act as the facilitator, encouraging schools to take part. Once they have agreed then it is the local PGA professionals who become the face of those programmes and take on the responsibility of giving youngsters their first experience of the game and hopefully instilling an interest to take it up. This first experience is all important and one that golf clubs have a responsibility to support. It’s a joint effort with PGA professionals, golf clubs and organisations like the Golf Foundation each playing its part.

To find out more about The PGA and how our thousands of PGA members across the UK, Ireland and overseas can benefit your golf club, visit www.pga.info

 

Tania Longmire
By Tania Longmire June 7, 2019 10:55 Updated
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