New scheme could go nationwide and across Europe after successful trials in North Ayrshire
By Chris Johnston
Not content with revolutionising the equipment that children are using to get into golf, top Scottish brand Golphin is doing its bit to maximise opportunities for kids to experience the game at a young age.
The Irvine-based company - whose pioneering golf club range for juniors won the prestigious HSBC Golf Innovation Award late last year - recently rolled out a pilot schools programme, designed to take golf into the classroom.
The scheme, backed by Arnold Clark, has been trialled in North Ayrshire and Renfrewshire in recent months, with Golphin founder Calum McPherson planning to work with golf’s governing bodies, such as Scottish Golf, junior golf charity the Golf Foundation and local councils to roll out the programme throughout the UK and Europe.
ìThe whole purpose of our schools programme is to introduce kids to golf and make them want to play, rather than be dragged to the course or the range by their mum and dads,î said McPherson. ìWe want to make golf accessible to all kids, a game to be enjoyed from the very beginning.î
To help assist teachers in delivering the program, Golphin has created a Coaching Learning Resource that explains best practice and demonstrates fun skills-based games that children of all ages and abilities can play together.
The resource is based upon the success of other sports’ schools initiatives and, in McPherson’s words, ‘puts the knowledge of PGA pros directly into the classroom’.
Bruce McMaster, the Active Schools Coordinator for the St Matthews Cluster in North Ayrshire, was hugely impressed by the pilot scheme and expects it to become very popular when it gets more widely rolled out.
Golphin’s products, resources and quality of coach education are of a very high standard,î said McMaster. ìThe pilot programme in North Ayrshire schools has been very well received and will remain a key component to helping new generations of young golfers into the sport.î
The programme has been co-sponsored by Arnold Clark and every child taking part in it receives a Golphin 7-iron of their own, as well as four brand new Golphin golf balls to practice with outside of the scheduled time.
David Cooper of Arnold Clark commented: ìWe love to support any initiative that helps kids get out in to the fresh air and enjoying sports. What Golphin is doing for accessibility to golf is admirable and it is a pleasure to support the programme.î
McPherson added: ìOur pilot scheme has demonstrated to us that there is a real appetite for making golf a part of the primary school curriculum in Scotland.
We would now encourage any parent of a primary school child or any primary school teacher keen to know more about it to get in touch so we can get golf into the consciousness of Scotland’s kids in much the same way as football has been for generations.î
To find out more about how your child or school can get involved with the Golphin Schools Programme in the coming weeks and months, log-on to golphin.co.uk or call 01294 537676.