ENGLAND Golf has appointed two development officers in Lancashire to encourage more people into the game and to ensdorse the work of county clubs and driving ranges.
Debbie Barber will team up with Adam McAlister and will work alongside national regional manager Iain Lancaster to deliver national initiatives and programmes to make golf more accessible to people of all ages and abilities.
This includes supporting clubs with the Get into Golf campaign and the achievement of the GolfMark standard.
The county’s facilities are already backing a national campaign launched by England Golf, which has put in place a wide-ranging strategic plan, which runs until 2017.
Raising our Game includes supporting clubs as they seek to introduce newcomers through coaching for beginners and providing a pathway into membership.
The Lancashire Union of Golf Clubs and the Lancashire County Ladies’ Golf Association will also work closely with the area’s PGA professionals.
Debbie has more than 26 years’ experience in sports development and took up golf in her late 40s but admits she wishes she had started earlier.
She is a former lady captain at her first club Green Howarth and has since become a member of the management committee at Blackley.
Debbie, who lives in Middleton, said: “Golf is a sport for everyone – you make some great friends and have the chance to enjoy some stunning scenery. I have already met inspirational staff and volunteers in golf clubs who are determined to strengthen and take their clubs forward.”
Preston-based Adam graduated with a sports degree and has worked in development at home and abroad, including in New York.
He said: “Golf is a sport for life and gives people the opportunity to stay fit, healthy, socialise and more importantly have some fun.”
Both are keen to engage with clubs and facilities in the county and ask clubs to contact them to arrange meetings. Clubs will benefit from the additional support on offer as they seek to retain and recruit new members and increase regular participation.
Adam is covering the west of the county (Lancaster, Blackpool and Fylde, Preston, South Ribble, Chorley, West Lancashire, Wigan and Merseyside) while Debbie is looking after East Lancashire and Greater Manchester.
Lancaster said: “The additional capacity shows the commitment of England Golf to ensure a healthy future for the sport.
“The group will also begin to create a County Plan for Golf, which will serve to benefit the sport across the area.
This is an exciting development and will make it even easier for people to give golf a go in the county and to enjoy the many health and social benefits the sport can bring, particularly as a member of a club.”
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