The future of golf is in safe hands at Prestonfield, which has enjoyed a landmark year by welcoming a record number of juniors into the club.
Over the course of the 2013 season, 124 youngsters took part in
ClubGolf coaching, with 11 volunteer coaches and helpers rolling
out a fun and enjoyable programme.
The coaching message was spread throughout schools by local Active
Schools Co-ordinator Jonathan Wallace and contacting all existing
members with young relatives interested in trying their hand at
The result was unprecedented interest from the area's youngsters,
which meant all hands on board from the Prestonfield team to host
additional coaching sessions on Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays
over two ten-week blocks, as well as staging ClubGolf's Summer
And it didn't take long before the efforts of ClubGolf
Co-ordinator Liz Taylor and her team were rewarded as membership
applications began rolling in. By the time coaching concluded in
October, 74 children had joined the club's junior section.
"I think the success of our programme was based on having lots of
structure and keeping the parents informed about what we were
looking to achieve," said Taylor.
"Offering a much reduced membership has been the biggest factor
but we didn't wait until the end of the coaching block to tell
people about this. We wanted the children to use our practice
facilities during their coaching as one of the benefits of being a
member of the club, and that really worked for us.
"We are not in this to make a profit. We are in it to get kids to
have fun and tell their friends at school how much they are
enjoying coaching. Word of mouth is the biggest marketing
Parents were also encouraged to join their budding young golfers,
with strong backing from the club council and PGA professional,
allowing juniors to sign mums and dads onto the golf course at a
reduced rate. The aim of this being families would be encouraged to
engage more with the club and that children would benefit from
And practicing at Prestonfield is soon to be better than ever
before for ClubGolfers, as a recently-rewarded sportscotland Awards
for All grant will be put to use in the creation of valuable new
"I'm absolutely chuffed to bits with the grant," added Taylor.
"We're going to get two practice par-3s, which will be fantastic.
We'll use them during the kids' practice, so they can work on their
long game, short game, putting and bunker play.
"We'll also have competitions and it will be a great place for the
kids to become familiar with playing full golf holes. The members
will also be able to use it, so they'll benefit too."
Looking ahead, Prestonfield are set to build on the success of
2013 with the introduction of a new structure, which will allow a
seamless transition for kids to move into more advanced coaching
groups. Taylor has also secured the services of the club's
assistant pro to provide more technical tuition for youngsters
developing at a faster rate.
ClubGolf Regional Manager for the East of Scotland, Lesley
Nicholson, is delighted with the progress being made at
Prestonfield and believes other clubs could benefit from the
coaching model they have introduced.
"ClubGolf at Prestonfield has grown from strength to
strength in 2013. This is mostly due to the club targeting the
right people and having complete buy-in from the main committee as
well as club members," said Nicholson, who represented Great
Britain & Ireland in the 2000 Curtis Cup at Ganton.
"ClubGolf Coordinator Liz Taylor has been a real driving force
behind the administration in 2013 and has ensured their key
priority of increasing the number of volunteer coaches in the
programme was achieved to allow them to cater for larger numbers
"It has been great to hear there is a real buzz about the
golf club. With the ongoing support from all the volunteer coaches,
as well as the committee and PGA professionals, Prestonfield Golf
Club looks to have a very rosy future ahead."
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.