England Golf Press Release:
Somerset is among four counties chosen to work in partnership with England Golf over the next two years to get more juniors involved in the sport.
Cheshire, Durham and Lincolnshire are also joining the pilot project which aims to get more under-18s playing and joining clubs.
The latest England Golf Club Questionnaire, which is carried out every two years and tracks trends, shows a decline in junior membership. On average, each club lost three boy members between 2014 and 2016 and altogether juniors account for just seven per cent of club members.
Lee Dolby, England Golf’s Young People Manager, commented: “It’s vital that we address the challenges facing junior golf. Somerset and the other three counties have enormous commitment and enthusiasm for developing junior golf and involving more young people.
“I am very much looking forward to working with them over the next couple of years to see how much of an impact we can have and how we can inspire a love of golf to last a lifetime.”
Somerset is already deeply committed to growing junior golf and wants to build on its county coaching structure and junior leagues.
Tommy Tulk Chairman of The Somerset Golf Union “This is a great opportunity for us and we’re looking forward to some excellent results. It is very good news for our clubs and the county.”
Ellie Harper President of The Somerset Ladies County Golf Association “It’s a great opportunity and the timing is perfect particularly for young girls who are coming into the sport more and more.”
Each of the four counties will have a bespoke plan which recognises their particular challenges and targets. They’ll be supported by Lee Dolby and the England Golf network of club support offers and regional managers.
This will include offering access to research, workshops and educational resources and help with marketing to a younger audience.
Lee Dolby added: “By working closely with counties, rather than individual clubs, we can look at wider solutions which, eventually, we can share across the country.”