Golf Foundation

PGA support helps young people to thrive through golf

The Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) has underlined its continued support of initiatives for young people and the work of the Golf Foundation by donating £40,000 to the national charity.

The PGA Chief Executive Robert Maxfield (pictured) presented the cheque to Young Ambassadors Kennedy Murphy (left) and Olivia Whittle (right) during their recent visit to The PGA’s Belfry headquarters. Kennedy and Olivia are among 23 such young volunteers who have been helping to deliver the Golf Foundation / England Golf Junior Strategy, of which PGA Professionals play a key role in growing the game and supporting the wellbeing of young people in a range of initiatives.   

Robert Maxfield said: “We’re delighted to maintain our support of and long association with the Golf Foundation that began more than 70 years ago when it was established by one of the PGA’s most distinguished members, Sir Henry Cotton.

"Sir Henry, a three-time Open Championship winner and former PGA Captain, was keen to introduce children from all backgrounds to golf and since then thousands have taken up the game.

“In doing so, many have been helped by PGA Professionals who have promoted and followed the Golf Foundation’s excellent and ground-breaking initiatives to realise Sir Henry’s dream. Long may our association continue.”

Crucially, PGA Professionals are at the heart of the Golf Foundation’s support for golf clubs, including a core number formerly known as Golf Roots Centres. The Foundation’s team of seven Regional Development Officers has the expertise to help create a tailored programme for the needs of each of these golf clubs to encourage more young people to start and stay in the game. 

This includes direct and flexible support for PGA Professionals to grow their junior sections and welcome more families into the life of the club, thus making a greater impact on their surrounding community with the opportunity of growing their business. 

On accepting the donation, Head of Development for the Foundation Martin Crowder said there has never been a better time for PGA Professionals to work with the Golf Foundation’s team. 

Martin said: “This donation from The PGA is very much welcomed. The PGA has been a highly valued partner of our charity for a great many years and we rely on the support of its members to inspire more young people to get the most out of our game. 

“We all recognise that a young person’s experience of being coached by an expert PGA Professional at club level can be fundamental in helping them to develop a life-long love of golf. It is fantastic for our team to be supporting golf clubs and their PGA Professionals to encourage more children from all backgrounds, and help them to thrive through their enjoyment of golf. This shared vision remains important if we want to continue to find new audiences for our sport.”

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Golfsixes League Celebrates Its Seventh Season

The Golf Foundation’s successful GolfSixes League gets underway in England again this weekend, with nine of the leagues across the country taking to the course, and joining those in Scotland and Wales who started in previous weeks. 40 English clubs will play across Saturday and Sunday this weekend, celebrating another big year of the junior golf format, with over 130 leagues currently planned for the year.

Created in 2017 to give young golfers the opportunity to play on the golf course in a format that is fun, team based and suitable for beginners.

With the support of the R&A, the Golf Foundation has taken the format to new heights in recent years. Last year, with the help of the Ladies European Tour, DP World Tour and the Confederation of Professional Golf, GolfSixes League was introduced to 20 countries across the globe, including UAE and South Africa – with more rollout planned in 2024. 

Across the Home Nations, meanwhile, the format has grown year on year. 2023 saw more than 600 clubs take part in various events, with over 8,000 young people playing in leagues against other golf clubs. Over a quarter of participants were female, which allies with the Golf Foundation’s focus on inclusion across the sport.

The introductory level of the event – handicaps are limited to no lower than 37 – allow young people to enjoy a competitive version of the game without feeling overwhelmed by more experienced golfers, and it has helped to grow the sport off the back of it. Clubs who took part in GolfSixes League in 2023 saw a 43% increase in affiliated membership among juniors, while 88% of players who took part said they would like to play more golf as a result of taking part in GolfSixes League.

“We’re really excited to get going once again,” said Katie Moggan, head of GolfSixes League for the Golf Foundation. “We’ve had so much interest in this year’s events already, and we’re hoping to see even more young people than last year take to the course. The feedback from last year was so positive, and the young people all loved taking part, so it’s a brilliant format to introduce once again. We also have new mental wellbeing tips for parents and their kids to share before, during and after events this year, as part of our Unleash Your Drive initiative, so hopefully that helps see an impact both on and off the course. It’s been a brilliant 12 months working, and thanks to the support of the R&A, we can’t wait for the summer ahead!” 

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