UK Golf Federation news
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So, will Woods' win spark a resurgence in young people playing golf? The better quest question is why would Tiger spark a resurgence in golf participation in younger players. Tiger is 43-year-old now and been an icon for over 20 years and the players that will relate to his skills and presence are surely the players aged 35 years plus! Golfers are quickly forgotten and Sir Nick Faldo or Tom Watson mean very little to the under 25's these days. What Tiger will bring to growing golf participation is his professionalism and dedication to becoming successful again, against many if not all the odds of being physically and skill wise being nearly finished as a major or even at tour winner. So, most keen golfers need a role model and whether young or old most of us strive to improve and win whether our club medal or a friendly game against friends. Spark a resurgence in young people No! his win great for the game of golf Yes! will it help grow golf participation across the board - Hopefully!
Is Tiger as a role model important to young people? Every sport need role models whatever they bring to the sport and whilst Tiger has brought so much to golf over the 25 years plus he has been a golf professional some of his publicity will have worked with the major media channels, but on a one to one basis he has not always been approachable on a variety of levels. At the Open Championship he shuns the paying public spectating at the Open by have practice rounds early in the morning before the public arrive at the course, rarely practicing at the event as often using other facilities at other courses to practice and almost never signing autographs. This may be the way to be elite and professional but does not directly create a direct relationship with young people. So, maybe being the greatest golfer in the world for over 20 years is the mirror of a role model that Tiger brings to the game of golf.
Will Tigers win help golf clubs and associations to attract younger players? There was a complacency in growing golf participation some 20 plus years ago, similar to that in many sports, golf participation, golf clubs and the golf industry as whole that we were doing well and everything was rosy and successful. This caused many key stakeholders in the golf market to take their eyes off the key reason that people played golf and there are lots of reasons here such as full memberships, women not allowed to join some clubs and restricted access to golf facilities unless you are a member!! All this has changed over the last few years! Much work is being done by key stakeholders. The Golf Foundation give the opportunity for 500K school children to try golf through various fun options, England Golf have key programmes such as Get into Golf, This Girl Rocks and many more exciting ways to try golf, The UK Golf Federation who represent hundreds of proprietary golf course, driving ranges and golf facilities offer easy "open Access to trying and playing golf" through there golf facilities, these include Adventure Golf, Pitch and Putt courses and even Footgolf with all of these playing their part in getting people to try or play golf. Each and every one of the initiatives is open to younger players and whilst the industry knows we need younger players a key piece of the jigsaw of growing the game is if girls and boys take up golf often the whole family join in and so help develop participation in golf. So much going on now, not only for younger players but to grow the game in general. Tigers win is another great step in creating publicity for the game and seeding interest to try and play this wonderful game! GOLF.