The ClubGolf Summer Festival got underway in style today with blue skies and lots of happy faces on show during the first day of activities of ClubGolf Camps.
First up for a visit from the ClubGolf Team was Cardross Golf
Club, where 11 kids assembled and were quickly put through their
paces with an ice-breaking treasure hunt, which was won by the
girls, we are reliably informed.
It was then on to some warm-up exercises before putting on the
practice green, which would allow the coaches to begin to formulate
an idea of the needs of their group based on level of skill and
As head professional Robert Farrell explained, an important
factor on day one was to ensure the group were properly inducted to
camp week and began working as a team.
He said: "The kids are going to have a fantastic week. We
started off this morning with a gentle introduction, so a few games
so the kids could get to know each other, which is very important,
and so we can begin to understand what skill level they are at.
"The more they can come together as a group, the more they will
get out of the week and the more fun they will have.
"The manual we received from ClubGolf is fantastic in helping to
do that because it makes things a lot more fun by introducing a lot
more games, which is great."
Stuart Callan, Head Professional at Bathgate Golf Club, which is
one of the largest camps in this 2013 programme, took a similar
approach, assessing the ability of the group before splitting
children into appropriately-sized coaching groups, led by assistant
Callum Nisbet and volunteer coach Willie Bell.
This, as well as taking the children step-by-step through
features of the coaching manual, as provided by ClubGolf, he told
us during our second stop of the day, will make it more likely for
them to return to the club after the camp has concluded.
"By the end of this week the kids will have initiated themselves
into the game and the club which is important," said Callan.
"Because we have got a lot of kids we were able to split them
into three different groups based on the skill level they already
had. The ones that are more advanced will have more advanced
coaching; the ones that are at introduction level will have a nice
introduction to the game.
"So, I expect them to gain some experience of playing but also
just to be more familiar with golf itself and the environment we
playing golf in."
Last stop for day one of ClubGolf Camps for the ClubGolf Team
was Oatridge, where six pupils attended one of the smallest camps
but this certainly didn't have any affect on how much the children
enjoyed their first taste of golf, as well as the receipt of their
first homework assignment - finding out the venues of the Aberdeen
Asset Management Scottish Open and Ladies Scottish Open.
Said lead pro Andrew Marshall: "The feedback I got from the kids
was excellent. They all seemed to gel together. We had games for
them right at the beginning and had them running around but it also
gave them the opportunity to see different parts of the club.
"We didn't get too technical with them today but tomorrow we
will move into how to stand properly, how to hold the club properly
and thinking more about general swing technique.
"We let them have a little go today to see where they are with
the game then we'll step it up tomorrow."
Watch this space for a report from day two of ClubGolf
The aim of ClubGolf is to create a development pathway from entry level through to the highest levels of achievement, enabling increased access to golf, higher participation levels, improved standards of performance, and sustained growth in the future.