Juniors benefit from Glencruitten modernisation

There is a complete modernisation taking place at Glencruitten Golf Club which will benefit juniors the most.

Glencruitten ClubGolf

There is a complete modernisation taking place at Glencruitten Golf Club which will benefit juniors the most.

To outsiders the club's revival began with its first ever junior open day last month - so popular it was that all 15 attendees signed up for coaching at the club. 

But the transformation to junior friendly club started well before that and a new, younger club committee, to above all bring in more youth, has in the words of members been 'a breath of fresh air.'

The first step in reviving its flagging junior set up was joining forces with the national junior programme, ClubGolf, and finding five members who have since become trained and qualified through the PGA as Level 1 coaches. 

Coaches, helpers and resident professional Terry Burgoyne, as well as Colin Fisher, the pro at the World of Golf in Clydebank are all supporting the junior drive. 

"The kids loved the coaching," said the club's ClubGolf Coordinator, John MacKinnon.  "Many of the first 15 children came from the local schools and a lot are from non-golfing backgrounds.

"Since the ClubGolf coaching we have had a lot of children coming forward and asking for coaching. 15 or 16 children came for the coaching, and we have had a lot of names coming forwards to go to the next lot."

The club's coaching group has the capacity to teach 25 juniors.  Additional support has come from a £500 award from the Rotary Club for junior coaching.  The club has recently invested 15 sets of junior equipment, it is building a junior locker room and organising a junior committee, with a captain and vice captain so that youngsters will have more of a voice.

One by one the traditional obstacles to juniors taking up the game have been felled.  Perhaps the biggest is the planned reduction of junior membership fees.  

"We are doing everything to become accommodating to the kids," said MacKinnon.  "To help that we have just decided to offer half price junior membership, which for under 12s is £20 and for the next age group to 17 is £90 a year.

Recognising it has a hiatus amongst the younger adults who can't afford the jump in membership fees when they become 21 years old, it has extended its 18 to 21 membership, which is £120, to the age of 25. 

The recent changes at Glencruitten have been welcomed by the members and committee alike.

"Admittedly a lot of the members weren't sure what to expect when we brought up some of the ideas at the AGM," continued MacKinnon.

"But people are changing their minds about kids because the kids are well behaved and controlled when they come to the clubhouse.  There has been an amazing turnaround."

Taynuilt GC and Isle of Seil Golf Clubs have been giving ClubGolf coaching for some years and have built strong bonds with their local schools, which deliver ClubGolf's schools introductory game.  Dalmally GC has also trained Level 1 coaches in 2012 to offer ClubGolf coaching."

Glencruitten offering ClubGolf for the first time will have an impact in the larger area, making golf at a club accessible to children in every local school.

Dale Kupris, Active Schools Coordinator, Oban & Lorne Cluster has been a key promoter of the ClubGolf programme and is delighted to see the club on board as a new deliverer of the game.

"It is fantastic news that we have every club in the area offering clubgolf.  It had been a long process getting all the clubs and schools on board with ClubGolf but over the years there's been a steady process in place so we managed to finally to do it.  It's very positive and I'm very pleased about it." 

To find out more about ClubGolf coaching at Glencruitten Golf Club contact:

Tel:  01631 562 868

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