Players 1st Client Conference: 3 Initiatives Growing Junior Golf Participation
In this post, we share some of the initiatives from the national federations which are encouraging juniors into the game. With many clubs struggling to recruit women golfers, many also struggle to directly attract junior golfers. The three initiatives below have been implemented by the national federations with the aim of providing a potential recruitment pathway into local clubs, but also to provide easy access to golf for kids without expense, complication and removing other potential barriers into the sport.
At the 2019 Players 1st Client Conference, the Norwegian Golf Federation (NGF) shared their approach to delivering an exciting golf proposition to encourage more juniors into the sport.
Their initiative called StarChase encourages kids to play with parents, friends or siblings. Through a series of challenges in small incrementing steps, each player aims to complete the scorecard for the three holes of golf. A large target area surrounds the ‘hole’ and the challenge of scoring less shots than their previous attempt creates and challenging yet achievable game and a leveller for everyone playing. It’s quick to get going and importantly, they are ‘playing golf’ from the first few minutes of arriving.
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Another example was shared by the Finnish Golf Association, and how they launched a ‘Driving School’ campaign into schools. Their school golf program is delivered through their online platform and via consultants. With approximately 26 consultants delivering the initiative, they have also educated nearly 3,000 teachers and provided equipment in 90 schools across Finland. Their online portal contains resources and videos for teachers and consultants to access, which include things like golf fitness videos and golf game ideas.
Spain introduced their junior initiative which has been running for several years, called ‘Golf in schools’ which is a national initiative with a long-term aim at promoting golf as a sport. They have identified grassroots level as being the biggest potential catchment group. One of the biggest challenges for the Royal Spanish Golf Federation (RSGF) has been to attract the next generation of golfers, so, the Golf in Schools programme was established. The initiative is led by the regional golf federations, who provide schools with the necessary resources and equipment to deliver the programme to students.
Additionally, at a club level, the RSGF are providing support to clubs to help launch junior golf academies. The club accesses downloadable invitations offering a free 4-hour introduction from the RSGF website, The club then distributes the invitations within local schools and then host the academy at their golf club. These introductory lessons are subsidised by the RSGF and are also supported by major golf brands. After the 4-hour induction lesson, the club takes on responsibility for any follow-up communication and potential recruitment opportunities.