First Minister launches Festival of ClubGolf
Hundreds of young people will be encouraged to ‘give golf a go’ at a huge day of activities that will form the centrepiece of a Festival of ClubGolf in the run up to the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, First Minister Alex Salmond announced today.
The activity day, held at the Castle Stuart course on 11 July in the week of the tournament, will see youngsters take part in a putting and chipping challenge, crazy golf competition and a specialist coaching zone, in the biggest week-long event yet in ClubGolf’s successful history.
ClubGolf at the Castle will be the highlight of a series of activities and events held in the run-up to the tournament that will form a Festival of ClubGolf to help drive yet further participation in the sport among young people in Scotland.
The Festival, which is part of the sponsorship deal struck in March that helped secure the future of the Scottish Open, will begin with a series of ClubGolf camps offering young people across Scotland up to 20 hours of dedicated golf coaching to help improve their game.
After the tournament itself, which runs from 12 to 15 July, the Festival will conclude with an ongoing junior membership drive to encourage children to join their local golf club by taking advantage of some great membership offers.
First Minister Alex Salmond said:
“Scotland is the undisputed home of golf and its golfing heritage is unrivalled across the world. But if we want to give Scotland the best chance of being the future of golf, we need to drive participation in the sport among our young people.
“That’s why the ClubGolf programme is so exciting, aiming as it does to put a golf club in the hands of every nine-year-old in the country, encouraging mass participation and helping us unearth the next generation of golfing talent.
“In its short history, ClubGolf has introduced hundreds of thousands of youngsters to this great game, and it is tremendously exciting to announce today a Festival of ClubGolf that will help hundreds more ‘give golf a go’ in the run up to the Scottish Open.
“Part of our sponsorship deal that has helped secure the future of the Scottish Open, the Festival will see hundreds of youngsters participate in a series of coaching camps, before bringing them all together for a fantastic week of activities at Castle Stuart, during the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open.
“Not only will they be able to practice their chipping and putting skills, the young people will have access to some top coaches to help hone their swing and improve their game. I can’t wait to visit ClubGolf at the Castle on the day itself and test my golfing skills against the guys that are taking part – it is going to be a challenge!”
Jackie Davidson, manager of ClubGolf said:
“ClubGolf at the Castle will be a real treat for young golfers. It’s a fantastic opportunity for them to rub shoulders with some of the world’s best players and get involved in Scotland’s summer festival of golfing fun. With competitions and prizes on VIP Wednesday and throughout the tournament week, it’s a great way to keep Scottish kids healthy and active.
“We hope this experience will encourage more kids than ever before to take up the sport and become golf club members in the future.”
Peter Adams, Director of International Championships at the European Tour said:
“The European Tour is delighted to be fully involved in the support of this exciting grass roots golf initiative which will see hundreds of budding junior golfers add a fantastic and vibrant new dimension to the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open.
“We are certain that the juniors will enjoy their visit to Castle Stuart where they can take some further inspiration from getting up close to many of the greatest golfers in the world.”
Photos of the First Minister with ClubGolf youngsters at the Castle Stuart venue are available for download at the Scottish Government flickr page.
Footage of the First Minister with ClubGolf youngsters at Castle Stuart is available for broadcasters from the Scottish Government communications department and will be available on the Scottish Government’s YouTube channel.
Since its inception in 2003, 220,000 children have been introduced to golf at school through the Scottish Government’s ClubGolf programme, which aims to put a club in the hands of every nine-year-old in the country.
Last year, the Scottish Government announced the initiative would have its funding extended with an investment worth £2 million between 2014 and 2018.
Scottish Open sponsorship
In March, the Scottish Government joined Aberdeen Asset Management to strike a sponsorship deal that secured the Scottish Open tournament for the next three years. Part of that deal involved an agreement to host the Festival of ClubGolf. Further details can be found here.
An independent economic impact study commissioned by Highlands and Islands Enterprise found that more than £5 million was contributed to the Scottish economy as a result of the 2011 Scottish Open.