A new way to teach golf to children

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir September 24, 2021 10:37

A new project to introduce children to golf has been launched.

A new project aimed at getting more children to play golf has been launched.

The national junior charity the Golf Foundation has unveiled ‘Golfway – a fun new method of learning golf for kids in school’. It has been created for teachers to get to grips with easily, and to enhance the outreach work of PGA professionals in schools and communities.

Children enjoy games at the R&A Swing Zone during Nicola Bennett’s visit before Day 1 of The 149th Open at Royal St George’s Golf Club on July 14, 2021 in Sandwich, United Kingdom. (Photo by Karl Bridgeman/Getty Images for HSBC)

Golfway equipment is designed and produced by The Masters Golf Company for young children of all abilities and allows games and practice drills to deliver fun golf sessions. It is hoped that it will be delivered to two million children in 7,500 schools over the next five years as part of a programme that links schools and local PGA professionals together and provides four coaching sessions which progress children through to a fifth session at an accredited local golf club.

Andy Leigh, who leads on schools for the Golf Foundation, said: “The four new key elements of our primary school support, which includes new equipment, a structured programme, training, and a realigned school games competition, is very exciting. We really feel this new, reimagined way of presenting golf is ready to take golf to the masses by engaging with more schools.

Nicola Bennett hands out golf clubs at the R&A Swing Zone during her visit before Day 1 of The 149th Open at Royal St George’s Golf Club on July 14, 2021 in Sandwich, United Kingdom. (Photo by Karl Bridgeman/Getty Images for HSBC)

“We are delighted that Golfway offers fantastic equipment to take our work to a whole new level in schools for the future.”

Chris Smith of Masters Golf added: “We are thrilled that the expertise we have developed over many years in junior golf, which has led to the creation of Golfway and the game format, ShortGolf, will now support the drive to bring golf to a new generation of young people.”

Nicola Bennett, an emerging professional golfer, social influencer and golf coach who has been taking golf into the London area where she grew up, launched the project.

Nicola, from Bush Hill Park Golf Club where she has recently specialised in coaching women and juniors, is a new official ambassador for the Golf Foundation, and this summer visited Valence Primary School in Dagenham to help promote the Golf Foundation’s HSBC Golf Roots programme which aims to give a first go at golf to two million young people over the next five years.

Valence Primary School pupils enjoyed their first go at golf with Nicola and Chris Jenkins, the PGA Advanced Professional from nearby Crowlands Golf Centre, where they played Golfway.

Nicola Bennett poses for a group photo with children at the R&A Swing Zone during her visit before Day 1 of The 149th Open at Royal St George’s Golf Club on July 14, 2021 in Sandwich, United Kingdom. (Photo by Karl Bridgeman/Getty Images for HSBC)

As an advocate of teaching life skills through golf, Nicola already teaches breathing and mindfulness exercises to her junior golfers as part of their normal coaching sessions, an approach being promoted nationally by the Golf Foundation.

The Golf Foundation wishes to reach new players in city areas, including a focus on offering greater opportunities to young people from ethnically diverse communities, and has recently been working with a range of partners to ensure progress, including young people’s charities Sporting Equals, StreetGames and London Youth. The national charity’s team believes that Nicola’s experience and insight will be highly valuable while she can be a great role model for many youngsters who have never considered trying golf.

Nicola Bennett oversees a game at the R&A Swing Zone during her visit before Day 1 of The 149th Open at Royal St George’s Golf Club on July 14, 2021 in Sandwich, United Kingdom. (Photo by Karl Bridgeman/Getty Images for HSBC)

Nicola said: “I’m excited to be working with the Golf Foundation as I am passionate about creating golf experiences for young people from all backgrounds. The support of HSBC through the ‘Golf Roots’ programme is incredible and I can’t wait to help deliver these opportunities.”

Brendon Pyle, chief executive of the Golf Foundation, said: “We are thrilled that Nicola has agreed to become an ambassador for this charity. We have known for some time of Nicola’s coaching work at her club and her emergence as a competitive professional player, but we were delighted to hear that Nicola has also been reaching out to local schools to introduce children to golf, and that she is now really keen to take this work on wearing a Golf Foundation team shirt.

Nicola Bennett oversees a game at the R&A Swing Zone during her visit before Day 1 of The 149th Open at Royal St George’s Golf Club on July 14, 2021 in Sandwich, United Kingdom. (Photo by Karl Bridgeman/Getty Images for HSBC)

“Nicola is a hugely positive person and we have seen that she wants to share her love of the game with young people from all backgrounds, which will only help us as we seek more partners to start to make golf more truly inclusive. Having discussed Nicola’s professional aims and how they align with the values of our charity, we have no doubt she will be an outstanding ambassador for the Golf Foundation.”

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir September 24, 2021 10:37
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