The R&A Appoints Zane Scotland As A Diversity Ambassador

Scotland will help support the development of initiatives that encourage more people from ethnically diverse communities into golf

Scotland holds a club
(Image credit: The R&A)

As part of the new partnership, Scotland will also assist with the interpretation of research to understand the challenges that exist for ethnically diverse communities, and identify actions that can be taken to break down barriers and make golf more welcoming and appealing.

He will also play an important role in engaging with active golf societies including British Black Golfers and the Muslim Golf Association, to foster valuable relationships and generate involvement in future activity.   

Scotland hits a tee shot

Scotland during the 2010 Open Championship at St Andrews

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Phil Anderton, Chief Development Officer at The R&A, stated, “Our research is clearly showing that powerful role models like Zane are influential in encouraging more people from ethnically diverse backgrounds into golf and creating more positive perceptions of what the sport can really offer to participants.  

“Zane’s knowledge and experience will be invaluable in informing education for the industry and developing initiatives that proactively position the sport as inclusive for everyone who wants to play it, not only on the course but also the many other alternative forms of golf off the course that are crucial to attracting new participants from all backgrounds. We look forward to working with him.”  

A five-part video series for YouTube has been created to highlight the positive benefits of golf as a sport for everyone and will feature Zane and his father Bernie; the work of British Black Golfers and the Muslim Golf Association; Zane introducing his cycling group to golf; and the perspectives of elite amateur golfers making their way in golf.

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“I have said before that golf needs more diversity and challenged those running the game to step up and address the imbalance," explained Scotland. "I’m really encouraged to see The R&A taking the initiative and making positive steps forward in this area.

“I see our partnership as another means to build on the good work already being done by the likes of the Golf Foundation and within golf societies to open up the sport. I know that there is still a long way to go but I firmly believe that golf stands to benefit greatly if we can change perceptions and show that it is a fun and welcoming activity for everyone.”

A two-time participant at golf's oldest Major championship, The Open, Zane became the youngest ever English golfer to qualify for the event in 1999 at Carnoustie. Going onto have an extremely successful amateur career, he turned professional in 2003 and secured a European Tour card in 2007.

Following his Tour career, the 39-year-old set up the Zane Scotland Academy, which assists in coaching aspiring amateurs and elite professional golfers. He has also featured regularly in Golf Monthly's Top 50 Coaches, as well as appearing on the magazine cover.

Matt Cradock
Matt Cradock

Matt studied Sports Journalism at Southampton Solent University, graduating in 2019. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly and the PGA, he covers all aspects of the game, from Tour news to equipment testing and buyers’ guides. Taking up the game at the age of six, Matt currently holds a handicap of 3 and despite not having a hole in one…yet, he has had two albatrosses. His favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.