By Golf Monthly
The nine-time Open Championship venue is doing its bit to help grow the game with youngsters
Royal Troon Inspires Golf's Next Generation
Royal Troon Golf Club is widely acclaimed as one of the finest links courses in the UK and a has hosted The Open Championship on nine occasions.
It is now also driving forward with new initiatives providing opportunities for young girls and boys from the local community to get into golf and become golf club members of the future.
This initiative is now well under way, evidenced by more than 200 kids aged 5 to 12 participating in the UK’s largest kids’ school golf festival thus far in 2018, held on Wednesday 20 June 2018 at the Open Championship venue.
Working in partnership with the Ayrshire based GolPhinForKids Foundation, the PGA Professionals at Royal Troon are in the process of delivering a new golf education programme called MyPathway2Golf.
The brainchild of GolPhin, the Irvine based Junior Golf Equipment Company, MyPathway2Golf is leading the way in introducing golf to young children and hence helping golf clubs recruit and retain young kids as members of their golf clubs.
Head professional Kieron Stevenson and his assistants Adam, Gary and Euan have invested over 300 hours of their own time for free to help get the project up and running , Kieron goes on to explain “Attracting young kids into golf is absolutely essential as we as PGA golf professionals try and compete with other sports and activities. We decided to reach out to all 7 local primary schools to provide free access to golf at school. The idea was to make it fun, make it easy to understand and make the game easy to learn. We partnered with GolPhin to adopt their MyPathway2Golf system and easy to play with equipment. It’s a holistic approach to golf and includes health, wellbeing, education and life skills at its core, the kids and school teachers love it.”
Royal Troon Club Captain, Alasdair Cameron, is delighted with the new initiative and commented “Junior golfers are the life blood of our sport. It was very encouraging and pleasing to see so many kids, especially the turnout of girls at our event here this evening. Many of these kids are aged between 5 and 10 years old which was great to see. Seeing so many girls and boys having fun on our Craigend short course was heart-warming – well done to everyone involved.”
Golf is often regarded as an inaccessible sport that is very expensive. Not so with the way GolPhin has set up its programmes. It is absolutely free for all kids at school and golf clubs in Ayrshire are now adopting the programme at their own clubs. Calum McPherson, Founder and MD of GolPhin explains “Our schools programme is giving primary school kids the opportunity to experience golf at an early age. Playing with their friends, having fun, encouraging the kids to learn the game. This way we create the environment for kids to choose to play the game rather than parents trying to impose the sport upon their kids. We then link the schools and the kids to local golf clubs who make sure the positive journey continues. Doing this with our MyPathway2Golf online platform helps golf clubs make golf fun and rewarding for kids whilst keeping parents engaged with their kids’ progress. “
Arnold Clark, the Scottish based car retailer, sponsors the school programme in Ayrshire. Every child in the programme receives a free golf club and safety practice balls to get them started. David Cooper, a Director of the firm, said “We support local initiatives that can help kids get out in the fresh air, exercise and have fun. This programme is fantastic, our support helps the kids start off with the right equipment, which is easy to swing and makes it easier for the kids to enjoy the game.”
Through its Professional, Royal Troon Golf Club, and other clubs on the MyPathway2Golf, are also able to offer very affordable deals on kids’ golf equipment, even offering a monthly subscription to make selecting buying and upgrading golf clubs for kids easy and affordable for parents.
Royal Troon’s goal, to get kids into golf and help golf clubs inspire the next generation of young golfers.