Meghan drives GolfSixes legacy for young players
Golf Foundation Ambassador Meghan MacLaren will help to promote the sport to a whole new audience this week, including boys and girls brand new to golf, when she tees it up in the European Tour’s ‘GolfSixes Cascais’ on Friday (June 7-8).
MacLaren, a two-time Ladies European Tour winner, was guest of honour of the Golf Foundation recently as the charity launched its own ‘GolfSixes League 2019’ series for young boy and girl players, which mirrors aspects of the European Tour version and will this summer reach 3,000 youngsters in more than 250 golf clubs in England, Scotland and Wales.
Having tried her hand at GolfSixes League, MacLaren will this week partner Florentyna Parker in the England Women’s team to play in the European Tour’s GolfSixes Cascais on Friday in Portugal. In their first match the pair will take on the GolfSixes 2018 defending champions, Team Ireland, of Paul Dunne and Gavin Moynihan. During this innovative, shootout-style tournament, MacLaren and Parker will compete in the same field as three Ryder Cup winners in Jamie Donaldson of Wales, Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher and Italy’s Edoardo Molinari.
“It was really cool to get a taste for some of the Golf Foundation’s work at the launch of their GolfSixes League,” said MacLaren. “To then be participating in the professional European Tour GolfSixes Cascais tournament will be really exciting. I think it’s an incredibly good concept for the Golf Foundation to provide kids with an opportunity to play, and then watch professionals compete in GolfSixes on the TV. It makes the game both more relatable and engaging across all abilities and ages.”
The 25-year-old agreed to become an Ambassador for the Golf Foundation in May, with the national charity supporting young people to Start, Learn and Stay in the game. Its ‘Golf for All’ philosophy welcomes more youngsters into the sport, regardless of ability, and believes the introduction of golf should be fun, child-centred, inclusive, inspiring, innovative and enriching.
All of the charity’s programmes are underpinned with a focus on encouraging girls within the sport, including training girls as Young Leaders to support them further in their education and possible careers. The Foundation requests all of its 3,000 connected primary schools to select 50% girls in School Games ‘Tri-Golf’ team events, and has asked all 250-plus golf clubs involved with GolfSixes League to select, where possible, at least two girls in every team of six.
Brendon Pyle, Chief Executive of the Golf Foundation, said: “Our focus on girls’ golf is very important to the whole Golf Foundation team, including offering positive leadership training to more girls so they may have every opportunity as they develop their careers. We also feel it is vital to celebrate strong role models in the sport for girls and this charity is very fortunate to have both Meghan MacLaren and also her fellow Foundation Ambassador, LET player Felicity Johnson, now supporting so much of our work.
“It will now be hugely exciting to see how Meghan compares her experience in encouraging the youngsters and parents at our GolfSixes League launch, with playing in the GolfSixes Cascais this weekend. However, we are sure that Meghan, Florentyna and all the players will help to inspire the many young people and their families who experience this exciting and innovative European Tour event.”
The European Tour is one of the key supporters of the Golf Foundation’s GolfSixes League, which also enjoys backing from The R&A, HSBC, Sport England, Titleist, England Golf, Wales Golf and Scottish Golf.
A short video, which sums up the value of GolfSixes League, can be seen at – https://bit.ly/2BmMwry
How golf club captains can play unique role in securing future of the game
The England Golf Captains programme has chosen to support the Golf Foundation as its nominated charity this year. The programme is now encouraging its membership to back the Golf Foundation with fundraising donations and thus play a key role in helping to secure the future of the game.
The message is that support from more captains can help the Golf Foundation – the junior charity that was founded by Sir Henry Cotton in 1952 – to ensure that more young people from all backgrounds can enjoy the benefits of golf. This includes reaching 500,000 boys and girls each year through the sport, starting in schools and communities, before encouraging more young people to play at club level and find a game for life. Last year, for the first time, over 50,000 youngsters were introduced to a golf club through the Golf Foundation’s programmes and 3,400 became members.
Contributions via annual ‘Captain’s Charities’ will mean more young people can experience golf thanks to the proven programmes of the Golf Foundation such as Tri-Golf and GolfSixes League, thus protecting the game in the years ahead. The Foundation stresses that all donations are welcome; whether the Foundation be adopted as a Captain’s Charity for the year, or as one part of such a donation.
England Golf is being highly supportive in this communication through its captains’ programme, which includes a series of eight regional captains’ golf tournaments before a Grand Final later in the season. England Golf is also spreading the message to members of the captains’ programme in newsletters and via social media. A dedicated website page explains the initiative at https://www.englandgolf.org/article/support-the-golf-foundation-and-rece...
Vanessa Bell, Head of Fundraising for the Golf Foundation, said: “We are hugely grateful for any donations made from golf club captains. We are also very much aware that captains have local and national charities they wish to support and, of course, we want them to continue to do so. However, we also want captains to play as much a part, as they feel able, to inspire and encourage the next generation into the sport, so any contributions they can make are welcomed.
“As the Foundation has worked with more and more golf clubs in recent times to help grow their junior sections, we want to highlight to captains that their support can play a huge role in our work and can make a direct impact on the clubs we support. We would also like to thank England Golf for the understanding of its team in the importance of this message to clubs in this country.”
The Golf Foundation’s national programmes are encouraging greater numbers of boys and girls into golf clubs and all Golf Foundation activity is underpinned with the teaching of life skills, which can benefit the young person both on and off the golf course. The charity’s ‘Skills for Life’ programme is helping to instill all the best values of the sport among its young players.
Sam Czornyj, England Golf Membership Marketing Manager, said: “We are pleased to continue working closely with the Golf Foundation and to offer our captains this opportunity to support grass roots golf. We hope that the England Golf Captains will get behind this fantastic cause.”
TV’s Kerr Drummond to help reach audiences new to golf
The Golf Foundation is “delighted” to welcome Channel 4 TV presenter and golf-lover Kerr Drummond as an Ambassador for the national golf charity that encourages young people from all backgrounds to benefit from the sport.
Kerr Drummond is a presenter on established Channel 4 property television series ‘Coast vs Country’, and in his free time he is also hooked on golf. Kerr grew up playing golf at Frilford Heath Golf Club and played in a lot of team events for both his club and county (BB&O); he currently plays off a handicap of four. Kerr is already a fan of the Golf Foundation’s GolfSixes League initiative (he attended his first event in Hertfordshire recently) and wants to help the Foundation as the charity seeks to bring golf to new audiences who may not have previously considered golf. Kerr will also support by lending his experience in broadcasting to assist the charity’s promotion of its work through video, TV and at public events.
The Golf Foundation supports young people to Start, Learn and Stay in the game. Its ‘Golf for All’ philosophy welcomes more youngsters into the sport, regardless of ability, and believes the introduction of golf should be fun, child-centred, inclusive, inspiring, innovative and enriching.
Current serving Foundation Ambassadors include Ladies European Tour (LET) stars Felicity Johnson and Meghan MacLaren, and European Tour stars Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston and Graeme Storm. Kerr Drummond is the charity’s latest ‘signing’, having first picked up a golf club aged about five years-old; learning the game with his father Alan and brother Ross.
It is hoped that Kerr’s profile as a television presenter and his clear enthusiasm for the sport can help the Golf Foundation to engage with more families new to golf. His co-presenting of Channel 4’s ‘Coast vs Country’ with Kirsty Duffy and Sara Damergi has created a strong following in its Sunday slot of 5.35pm on Channel 4, and at the time of writing there are six more episodes of the series to watch.
Sarah Sorrell, Head of Marketing and Events for the Golf Foundation, said: “We are delighted to welcome Kerr as an Ambassador to the Golf Foundation. We had heard that Kerr was a very keen golfer and passionate about the values of the sport, values we of course share.
“Kerr’s broadcasting experience is sure to be of great benefit as we seek to extend our reach but most of all we are thrilled by his enthusiasm about our work and his all-round positive attitude. He attended our latest GolfSixes League event on Sunday and spoke very well to the families present about how his father had supported him as a young golfer. It’s great to have Kerr on our team.”
Kerr Drummond said: “Learning to play the game of golf as a youngster ingrained in me skills that have benefited every aspect of my life – good sportsmanship, manners, etiquette and a healthy sense of competition – without which I wouldn’t have achieved nearly as much as I have.
“I’m really looking forward to working with the Golf Foundation team and helping in any way I can. They are already doing a great job of getting more young people into golf, which will benefit the sport itself in this country but more importantly a whole new generation of golfers will be better off – both physically and mentally – as a result of their participation in the great game of golf. It was really encouraging to see so many youngsters and their parents all enjoying the GolfSixes League event at Chesfield Downs Golf Club recently – some great shots were hit and the encouragement from the parents was magnificent!”