New ‘Golfway’ can grow school golf and reach more youngsters
The Golf Foundation’s new Ambassador Nicola Bennett officially launched ‘Golfway’ in fine style in The R&A SwingZone, at Royal St George’s, on the eve of The Open.
New easy-to-play Golfway equipment is at the core of the Golf Foundation’s HSBC Golf Roots programme which will give a first go at golf to two million children from all backgrounds, in 7,500 schools, over the next five years.
As the best golfers in the world compete in The 149th Open this week, the national child-focused charity has set about introducing the next generation of youngsters to golf, and it all begins at this iconic golf championship.
The Golf Foundation team was delighted that its new Ambassador Nicola Bennett joined boys and girls from Sheldwich Primary School in Kent to officially launch all the new kit. It’s designed for young children of all abilities and allows games and practice drills, developed by the Golf Foundation, to deliver fun and meaningful golf sessions. The Sheldwich youngsters were guests at The Open courtesy of The R&A and right from their first shots, Nicola coached, encouraged and had fun alongside the children.
As a PGA Trainee Professional Nicola has proved herself excellent at working with juniors and all taking part clearly relished trying the inclusive new Golfway equipment.
Golfway is designed and produced by The Masters Golf Company, a new partner to the Golf Foundation, and Golfway has been created to play a key role in the Golf Foundation’s major new schools’ programme that has started in 2021 and runs for five years.
This programme links schools and local PGA Professionals together and provides four coaching sessions which progress children through to a fifth session at an accredited local golf club.
Within this new model, a local competition framework has been created that encourages schools to deliver inter-competition with neighbouring schools, either in physical fixtures or through online virtual leagues.
Golfway will also be used widely across the national extensive School Games network run by the Youth Sport Trust. The schools programme and Golfway all help to bridge the gap between those first hits in school and the first lesson at a golf venue with a PGA Professional coach.
Chris Smith of Masters Golf said: “We are thrilled that the expertise we have developed over many years in junior golf, which has led to the creation of Golfway and the game format, ShortGolf, will now support the Golf Foundation’s drive to bring golf to a new generation of young people.”
Brendon Pyle, Chief Executive of the Golf Foundation, said: “Our charity is delighted to be working with Masters Golf and delivering the new Golfway equipment, which is also the preferred schools’ kit for The R&A and PGA Tour. The Open provides a wonderful platform to showcase our new adapted equipment that will enable us to introduce more young people to golf from all backgrounds through schools and community projects.
“Thanks again to Nicola Bennett who is the perfect ambassador for the child-friendly equipment as she will be using Golfway to deliver golf to a new audience of young people in schools in London.”
PGA Trainee Professional Nicola, from Bush Hill Park Golf Club, has supported the Golf Foundation’s recent community golf project in East London, presenting a golf session for youngsters at Valence Primary School in Dagenham to tee it off and then lending her support to children from six schools last week in helping present the Crowlands Schools Festival, alongside Chris Jenkins, PGA Professional at Crowlands Golf Centre.
The Golf Foundation introduces youngsters to the game, from all backgrounds, creating golfers. The charity does this because golf can change lives, and #CreatingGolfers will be its hashtag for The Open week across social media.
* See more on Golfway at https://golfway.com
* See more on the Golf Foundation at www.golf-foundation.org
The Golf Foundation announces new Dinah Oxley Spirit of Golf Award for deserving young people
Nominate a young person for this prestigious new national award
The Golf Foundation is excited to announce the launch of a special new award – the inaugural ‘Dinah Oxley Spirit of Golf Award’ – to recognise a young person who has made a significant contribution to junior golf.
Each year national charity the Golf Foundation awards its ‘Spirit of Golf Award’ to a leading world golfer to recognise their outstanding contribution to golf and for inspiring many younger golfers to enjoy the game. Previous winners have included Paul McGinley (2019), Padraig Harrington (2017), Dame Laura Davies (2016), Justin Rose (2015), Tom Watson (2013), and Gary Player (2007).
This year, for the first time, the charity would like to recognise a junior golfer who has made their own strong contribution to golf. The Golf Foundation will be presenting this award to honour the generous legacy donation made to the charity by Dinah Oxley, one of the finest amateur golfers this country has ever produced.
The Golf Foundation introduces children to golf, from all backgrounds, creating golfers, because golf can change lives. The new award will be one of its most prestigious presentations of the year and will be awarded annually to a young person who shares the charity’s values.
Dinah Oxley was an incredibly impressive golfer who started her golfing journey at West Byfleet Golf Club and through the 1960s and ’70s competed for her country and county more than 40 times. She was crowned British Girl Champion twice (1963 and 1970), English Girl Champion three times (1965, 1970 and 71) and French Girl Champion in 1969. Dinah was Surrey Champion five times between 1967 and 1977 and competed four times between 1968 and 1976 as a member of the Curtis Cup team, and twice (1967 and 1971) in the Commonwealth Team. She dominated the amateur sport in this way for a number of years and was named British Golfer of the Year in 1970.
Dinah was meticulous, hard-working, conscientious and very modest about her golfing ability. She had enormous talent but never turned professional – like many women at the time, family commitments took priority. However, Dinah was always devoted and involved in golf throughout her life – she went on to become Secretary at Wentworth and then Worplesdon GC, and in her later years dedicated her time to encouraging youngsters into the game.
Golf Foundation Chairman Stephen Lewis said: “I had the privilege of working with Dinah in my early career, and to help acknowledge the achievements of this modest, yet remarkable golfer, the Golf Foundation is asking for people to nominate a young person for this inaugural award. We are hoping to hear about individuals who may have supported other golfers, helped their PGA professional or golf club and given back to the game. The winner might have overcome adversity, had a personal struggle, or supported their club or community in an innovative way.
“We are particularly keen to hear about young people who have helped their golf club or even the wider community during the past challenging 15 months of Covid-19 restrictions, using ‘Golf for Good’, a positive feeling promoted by the European Tour. The winner will share Dinah’s passion and commitment for golf and growing the game.”
The award will be presented at this year’s BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth in September at the Golf Foundation’s junior stand in the Spectator Village (subject to Covid restrictions), in a dual presentation with this year’s Spirit of Golf Award winner (to be revealed on the day). The BMW PGA Championship is taking place from 9-12 September but the presentation may be arranged for Wednesday 8th or Thursday 9th (the date is to yet be confirmed).
Please complete the online form at https://www.golf-foundation.org/about/presidents-awards/dinah-oxley-spir... to submit your nomination.
The closing date is for nominations is Friday 13th August.