Playing golf is for everyone! Golf has the unique ability to bring together people from all walks of life and make them equal. Everyone has access to the same clubs, attire, balls, and accouterments. Everyone has access to the same training videos, local pros for lessons, being self-taught and places to practice our skills. The golf industry entices people to play golf and to actually enjoy the game. As part of their efforts, the various golf associations have started various initiatives for the good of the game.
“Data collected by the World Golf Foundation indicates there are 27 million people who have an interest in wanting to play golf, but don’t play the game,” Bob Barrett, CEO of Honours Golf said. “Imagine if we could get just 10 percent of those people playing the game?”(AL.com)
TEE IT FORWARD helps players identify their limitations and speed up play. Something that makes the golf fun for everyone. Read TEE IT FORWARD for full details.
Offering playing opportunities to young children in the US is First Tee. The First Tee‘s mission is to impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character, instil life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf.
Since 1997, The First Tee has introduced the game of golf and its positive values to more than 3.5 million young people in 50 states, four international locations and over 3,400 elementary schools.
What makes The First Tee effective in building positive character traits in young people is The First Tee Life Skills Experience™, a teaching curriculum developed by experts in the field of positive youth development and delivered by caring coaches. Through this experience, participants learn to transfer the positive values of golf to everyday life.
In addition to the parallel learning opportunities available for participants and coaches, The First Tee University provides formal training for Chapter management, staff, board members, and others. Training goals include assisting Chapter leaders in creating sustainable youth development organizations, and to enhance program quality and impact.
Participants learn to
- Appreciate diversity
- Introduce themselves
- Manage emotions
- Plan for the future
- Resolve conflicts
- Set step-by-step goals
- Empower youth to make their own decisions by thinking about the consequences
- Build rapport and establish positive relationships
- Nurture golf and life skills development
- Promote a fun learning environment
A some what similar United Kingdom initiative is Golf Foundation’s Grass Roots. The Foundation’s ‘HSBC Golf Roots’ programme in schools is gathering significant momentum in 2013, as 39 out of 46 County Local Organizing Committees have selected an HSBC Golf Roots competition for the current academic year as part of England’s School Games curriculum. This high proportion is second only to athletics, and ahead of traditional school sports such as football, cricket and netball.
An additional United Kingdom program is Get into golf. “Golf is one of the best sports you can play to improve mental and physical well-being whatever your age, background or ability. Indeed, Golf’s powerful combination of stress-busting exercise, fresh air and camaraderie make it an excellent activity for promoting long-term heart health. There is no better sport for bringing people together – whatever their age, gender, background or ability. With plenty of time for conversation and fun, golf is the perfect way to make new friends and grow closer bonds with people you already know.”
All the above initiatives, and many more, are really designed to make golf FUN! That is the bottom line. These programs are structured and provide excellent ways to improve the game of golf for beginning duffers. For those a bit more adventurous, Golf Digest suggests 18 less conventional ways to enjoy the game of golf. Although they are not national initiatives, they do suggest ways to shake up the game to achieve the same result….having FUN!
Golf is fun. It is an activity that allows anyone to escape reality by playing a game that empowers the player to determine the result of their time on the links. Regardless of what the golf industry lauds, golf is fun! Golf is a sport that offers opportunities abound and I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!