By Chris Johnston
Schools looking to add golf to their curriculum are being advised to contact Golphin. Having already revolutionised the equipment marketplace with their high quality junior golf clubs, the Scottish brand is turning its focus to increasing the number of children playing the game.
Its Pathway Junior Development Programme is proving to be immensely popular with golf clubs across the country. West Kilbride GC is one of several clubs to have seen significant benefits since implementing it. However, Golphin is not just determined to try to help clubs bolster their junior sections – the Irvine-based company also trying to grow the game in schools.
Its ‘Pathway to the Fairways’ programme, backed by Arnold Clark, is an all-encompassing teaching resource that has been built around objectives outlined in the ‘Curriculum for Excellence’, Scotland’s national curriculum for schoolchildren aged between three and 15.
It is designed to help teachers deliver fun learning experiences and positive outcomes based around golf-specific games that children of all ages and abilities can get involved in. The resource is based upon the success of other sports’ schools initiatives and, in the words of Golphin founder Calum McPherson, ‘puts the knowledge of PGA pros directly into the classroom’.
“The 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,” said McPherson. “We want to make golf accessible to all kids, a game to be enjoyed from the very beginning – and what better environment to make that introduction than the classroom?”
It was successfully trialled as a pilot scheme in North Ayrshire in the last academic year through the Active Schools network, a sportscotland partnership designed to provide more and higher quality opportunities to take part in sport and physical activity before school, during lunchtime and after school, and to develop effective pathways between schools and sports clubs in the local community.
According to Bruce McMaster, the Active Schools Coordinator for the St Matthews Cluster in North Ayrshire, it proved to be a huge success.
“Golphin’s schools programme is fantastic,” McMaster told Scottish Club Golfer. “It provides teachers with the resources, the convenience and, crucially, the confidence, to bring golf into the classroom.
“It is straightforward, flexible and designed to keep children engaged in a safe and fun learning environment. It is simply brilliant.”
The North Ayrshire pilot concluded with a successful one-day golf festival at the Auchenharvie Leisure Centre in Stevenston and McMaster added that he would have no second thoughts about implementing it again this year.
“Everybody absolutely loved it,” he said. “The response was almost unanimously positive from teachers, parents and children alike, and that is down to how good a programme Golphin has devised. I cannot recommend it highly enough.”
To find out more, log-on to golphin.co.uk