AN ACTION plan has been launched to reverse a dramatic decline in young golf club members in Shropshire & Herefordshire.
The number of junior members has dropped over the last five years – but at the same time the number of under 18s playing some form of golf is growing.
Now the men’s and women’s county organisations are working in partnership with England Golf to get more youngsters playing and joining clubs.
Charles Sievewright, the County Boys’ organiser said: “We’ve got some great successes, like our Peewee Tour for boys and girls and our county coaching schemes, so we know there’s plenty of interest in golf. But the number of youngsters joining clubs is dropping at an alarming rate.
“This plan will help us to show them that golf is a great game and that golf clubs are a good place to be, where they can enjoy themselves with their friends.”
Lee Dolby, England Golf Young People manager, added: “It has been really good to work with the county to help them look at how they plan to grow participation amongst young people and change their perception of the sport.
“We hope that the clubs will support this plan and get involved with the projects so that we can be successful.”
The new plan sets out to support clubs – their junior organisers, volunteers and professional coaches – to develop strong junior sections and encourage new players.
It wants young people to have a clear voice in the county and it’s suggesting they take on the role of junior champions in their clubs to help change the image of the game.
It proposes that all clubs in the county should hold the SafeGolf accreditation by 2021, to show they offer a safe place for young golfers, whether they’re keen competitors or simply like playing with friends.
The county is planning to set up its own volunteer team to contact community youth groups and get them into golf.
It will be providing six-monthly updates on progress.
- Shropshire & Herefordshire is one of five golfing counties working with England Golf on special projects to get more juniors involved in the sport. The others are Cheshire, Durham, Lincolnshire, and Somerset.