The Golf Foundation’s partnership with the Premier League 4 Sport programme (PL4S) teed-up a unique event during the recent Open Championship to help highlight how the 'power of football' can bring golf to more young people.
The current nine football clubs involved with PL4S are supporting the Golf Foundation to reach young people in usually urban areas not associated with traditional golf.
Recently eight teams from Aston Villa and Derby County challenged each other to a StreetGolf shoot-out inside Derby’s iPro Stadium. The prize for the winning two teams was a chance to visit the Golf Foundation right in the middle of the action at The Open Championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Club.
As guests of Championship organisers The R&A, the Foundation team was showcasing its work as a charity that creates golfing opportunities for youngsters, including StreetGolf game formats which appeal to new teenage players previously unfamiliar with golf and the benefits the sport offers.
The Derby and Aston Villa youngsters completed StreetGolf challenges and created their own games firing shots into wheelie-bins, at tin cans and bulls-eyes and even opened golf umbrellas.
On the following day, football legend Dwight Yorke made a guest appearance to play StreetGolf with a group of boys and girls and the former Aston Villa and Manchester United star was impressed with the whole experience.
Dwight said: “I really enjoyed the StreetGolf games. I can see why they appeal to teenagers who can invent their own games to suit their local environment. We didn’t play any golf when I was growing up and we would have loved this.
“This is a nice partnership between Premier League 4 Sport and the Golf Foundation. I am sure it will be an excellent way for football clubs to engage with the community and bring golf to many new young people who would not have thought about playing. That’s good because it’s a wonderful game to play for youngsters.”
The football clubs supporting PL4S are Sunderland, Middlesbrough, Hull City, Aston Villa, Everton, Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Southampton and Derby County. The PL4S programme is an official partnership between Sport England and the Premier League.
Brendon Pyle, National Development Manager for the Golf Foundation, said: “We are working with PL4S and Sport England to test and develop new community competitions as a way of attracting and retaining young people in golf. The link to the golf club is key, as is the support from the PGA Coach, but we are also benefiting from the expertise of the Premier and Championship football clubs with their own community development programmes, all of which use the ‘power of football’ to encourage more young people into sport.”
To learn more about HSBC Golf Roots and the Golf Foundation call 01992 449830