When Colin Montgomerie launched the national junior golf programme, ClubGolf, in 2003, its target was to give every child in Scotland the opportunity to experience golf by the age of nine.
What at the time seemed a highly ambitious goal
is now becoming a real possibility. Through ClubGolf the game
now has a regular slot on primary school curriculums; 220,000
primary school children have been introduced to golf at school,
37,790 of them in 2011 alone.
For the new generation of keen young golfers,
engaged and enthused at school and champing at the bit to play what
many had thought was a previously inaccessible game, this is just
Since it began, well over 12,000 children are
now in ClubGolf coaching programmes at 311 supporting clubs and
facilities across Scotland.
The direct benefits for clubs are more children
playing golf, more active junior club members and a larger pool of
well-coached youngsters, and of course higher new revenue
"ClubGolf has given us a structured approach to
everything we do," said Billy Campbell, Captain and ClubGolf Level
1 coach at Kirkintilloch Golf Club in Glasgow.
"We have everything mapped out over the three
levels of coaching and we now have a proper coaching manual to
"We have almost 70 kids coming to coaching over
two nights. We've picked up junior members and we are
constantly getting parents asking if their children can join."
It's a similar story in other parts of
Scotland. Reay Golf Club in Caithness, on board with ClubGolf
from the very start, celebrated last month when an unprecedented
five of its ClubGolfers were invited to join the Scottish Golf
Union's North District squad.
"ClubGolf has provided the structure and
stepping stones that has allowed Caithness junior golf to
flourish," said the club's delighted head coach, Evan
Elsewhere, spectacular results are being
achieved in a short space of time. In 2011, its first year
offering ClubGolf, Hawick Golf Club in the Scottish Borders
attracted 75 new young golfers to the game and more than trebled
the club's junior membership.
"It just shows what you can actually achieve if
you're prepared to work hard and work with your Active Schools
Coordinator and ClubGolf Manager," said the club's Level 2
volunteer coach, David Wilson.
2011 was important to ClubGolf for many reasons
and another major milestone was attracting big-name commercial
This summer, The Royal Bank of Scotland agreed a
three-year partnership with Scottish Golf to support ClubGolf and
as part of this agreement, the world's greatest-ever player Jack
Nicklaus became ClubGolf's first official Ambassador.
Highland Spring, another iconic Scottish brand,
is also newly on board as a supporting partner. Completing a
trio of recent sponsorships agreements, Gleneagles Hotel raised
£19,500 for ClubGolf. through the proceeds of its Johnnie Walker
Championships' £5 Friday initiative.
A final stamp of approval in August confirmed
the programme's future when First Minister Alex Salmond announced
the government's investment into ClubGolf until 2018,
Key to ClubGolf's success are the clubs and
their facilities, allied to the tremendous efforts of qualified
volunteer coaches and PGA Pros, supported by club committees,
secretaries and fellow members.
Between them they are encouraging juniors by
tackling traditional thinking and barriers, making junior
memberships more flexible, developing junior facilities indoors and
out, encouraging more girls to play and increasing opportunities
for children with disabilities.
With hundreds of thousands more children due to
be introduced to ClubGolf at school, is your club prepared to
invest in its future and benefit from a partnership with