Travel News 9th Mar, 2018 by ukclubgolfer.co.uk
How one Scottish company is tackling golf’s junior participation problem head-on
Relaxing dress codes, bringing the cost down, speeding up play – everybody has a theory on how to get more people playing golf. Too few, however, are paying attention to the one area that can safeguard the game’s future for a generation to come.
It’s not even an area; it’s a demographic. It’s kids. And they hold the key to golf’s popularity both in the short and long-term.
This isn’t Generation X. This is Generation Xbox. We’ve got a whole generation of British children growing up playing golf using highly sophisticated, button-heavy controllers in front of 42-inch TV screens in their family homes, when they could instead be outside, in the fresh air, playing the game for real.
All the while, a significant proportion of British golf clubs continue to indulge an ageing membership that reduces in number year on year.
It’s a considerable gap in the market that has gone unserved for all too long. Thank heavens, then, for GolPhin.
The Scottish-based company has done – and continues to do – more than most to make golf accessible to children. Established in 2012, it designs and manufactures specialised golf equipment for kids to make learning golf easier and more enjoyable. Its golf club range, which was developed in partnership with PGA professionals and Strathclyde University’s biomechanical department, is 22% lighter and has a sweetspot 35% larger than traditional junior clubs, making it easier to swing, stay balanced and hit the ball.
It’s a simple but excellent solution, executed brilliantly. Whilst there’s nothing wrong with the intention behind giving kids a cut-down 7-iron to get them started, it’s tantamount to giving them a medicine ball to play football with. They’ll play the game but they won’t get as much out of it as they should. As a consequence, they won’t enjoy it and will be less inclined to persevere with it. However, give them the right equipment and they will have a far better experience.
Unsurprisingly, the GolPhin clubs have proven to be immensely popular and successful since they launched, filling pro shops, winning numerous awards, and earning the seal approval of parents and children around the world.
Job done, right? Wrong. You see, creating the right equipment for kids to learn the game is half the battle. The other half is creating the right environment for them – and, again, GolPhin has a solution for that.
Its MyPathway2Golf programme provides PGA coaches, assistant professionals, junior convenors, volunteers and generally anybody interested in getting more children playing golf with an extensive package of resources.
From advice on recruitment to a selection of fun and engaging skills challenges, the programme is designed to provide a comprehensive and coordinated approach to create more young golfers.
It allows golf club management to track the participation and active involvement of youngsters; encourages parents or guardians to interact with their kids’ experiences through its online platform; and it challenges the children to stay focused and engaged all year round, with fun challenges and interactive leaderboards to get involved with. It is, in short, the perfect complement to GolPhin’s clubs.
But don’t just take our word for it. Consider what Kieron Stevenson, the head pro at Royal Troon, has to say. “We have chosen to work with Golphin for our primary schools kids golf initiative,” he said. “The quality of their curriculum, digital platform and clubs are the best I am aware of on the market.
“Golphin’s digital platform also gives me and my team a comprehensive program to attract and retain kids. The calendar-planning section, knowledge of the game, quality PGA videos, defined skills challenges and parental engagement portal all makes it far easier to run junior programmes and links very well to our own schools program initiative.”
To find out more, log-on to golphin.com