Golf clubs across Lancashire are being urged to use this summer’s Open Championship as a springboard to growing the sport, with the help of a new initiative.

The world’s best golfers will be heading to Royal Birkdale in Southport from July 16-23 with the dream of becoming the latest player to lift the coveted Claret Jug.

The events attracts worldwide attention, and now clubs in the region are hoping to raise awareness of local opportunities to give golf a go.

A Road to The Open campaign is being organised by England Golf, the Professional Golfers Association and the Golf Foundation with a range of activities to promote golf in schools, the local community and clubs.

It is being supported by the Lancashire Union of Golf Clubs and the Lancashire County Ladies Golf Association.

The project is aiming to work with primary and secondary schools, offering special taster sessions, while pupils will be invited to The Open to visit the Golf Foundation and PGA in the specially-created Swing Zone.

Golf-themed assemblies will be delivered in Southport schools while staff, as well as the pupils, will be able to take part in Get into golf sessions.

Community projects include Street Golf, an initiative that takes the sport away from the traditional fairways and greens and out onto pavements and roads to increase the accessibility of the sport. The national final of the HSBC Golf Roots Street Golf competition will be held in the Southport area at the start of Open week, while there will be special family-orientated events before and after the championships.

Golf clubs will be asked to host taster sessions and a Road to The Open competition as well as social events, such as The Open Quiz night or food and drink festivals.

Clubs will also be encouraged to promote Golf Express to visitors to The Open, with the message that there is “time for 9” as part of their trip.

Statistics show that sports enjoy a two-week spike in interest following a major event and Lancashire Golf Development Group county officers Adam McAlister and Debbie Barber will be working with clubs to help capitalise on this potential surge in participation.

Get into golf is a national campaign to inspire adults to take up the game and is run by the England Golf Partnership through its network of County Golf Development Groups, supported by Sport England and National Lottery funding.

Get into golf opportunities include FREE taster sessions and low-cost beginner courses with PGA professionals. They are a fun and sociable way to start golf – and a great way to make new friends.

To find your nearest centre visit and look at the activity map or call 0800 118 2766

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