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Danish dream for local kids

Father looks to improve opportunities for juniors in Kintyre area after his own son struggled

DANISH native Søren Hundebøll describes himself as an alien looking in to Scottish golf, but as a father of two kids he is on a mission to create as many opportunities as possible for juniors in the area to play golf.

Hundebøll moved to Machrihanish with his family in 2007, and is a big fan of golf, but he was disappointed to find very little coaching available for juniors in the area.

With a young son who was very keen on the game, he wanted to give him every opportunity to play the game, eventually leading to him setting up a winter league with other similarly minded parents at the end of 2013, giving kids the chance to play during the winter months and get coaching at the same time.

SPONSORSHIP

Now that winter is over, Hundebøll has found himself back at square one with the junior coaching situation. That’s when the idea for a junior golf camp arrived, and, having been successful in his funding application, it is set to take place in May with the generous sponsorship of Machrihanish Dunes and Scottish Southern Electric.

“I had set up the winter league with some of the other parents in the area,” said Hundebøll. “After all the organisation and running around that took, I didn’t think I’d be able to do anything like that again, but here I am organising this golf camp because those youngsters just starting out in golf need professional coaching before they can get on the course.

“There weren’t really many opportunities in the area to get the help that they need. As parents we can only do so much, and we can’t give them the coaching they need.”

The absence of structured coaching for juniors at some golf clubs came as a shock to the Dane when he first arrived, as golf clubs in Denmark offer at least two hours of free coaching to junior members every week.

“I have the deepest respect for the proud Scottish history and traditions in golf,” he added. “Respect for these has to go hand-in-hand with development if we want the brightest future for Scottish golf. The ClubGolf project is a great asset for the sport, and we cannot give enough credit to the amount of resources and work guys like Paul Lawrie and Stephen Gallacher return to the sport through their foundations, but I think there’s one thing missing to bring it all together.

“In our native Denmark, you would struggle to find a club that didn’t provide several hours of free weekly PGA coaching for its junior members. In fact, most clubs have it as a natural part of the contract with their club pro.

GENEROUS

“As a parent, I appreciate the attitude towards juniors shown by Machrihanish Dunes, the newcomer in the area. They might not have a PGA pro attached yet, but they have still generously sponsored a full weekend of PGA coaching for every golfing kid in the area, member or not.

“The time of shipping kids out onto the golf course to learn by doing has long passed, and it takes some professional coaching to give the youngsters a good start in this great game, and this is where we need support from the golf clubs.”

HELPING YOUNGSTERS Machrihanish Dunes GC is supporting Hundebøll’s junior camp in conjunction with Scottish Southern Electric and he hopes this will help young kids get the necessary teaching to enjoy and improve at golf

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