All we ever hear about is soundbites and excuses.
We need to #GrowTheGame.
The youth are important.
We need to get more people playing golf.
But does anybody ever actually do anything of note? And if they do… do we even hear about it?
Changing the Game Alone
Well #GCW went down to N1Golf who have launched a new foundation... Not heard of it?
Well they are the largest golf academy in the UK and have also opened in Greenwich what must be the coolest driving range on the British Isles too, and which is statistically the busiest.
But rather than celebrate the growth of N1, who coach at 400 schools across the country and teach around 2000 juniors every week, the bodies in charge of golf bizarrely seem to be more in envy.
The devil’s advocate might even say they don’t want to give exposure to someone doing their job better than them?!
The likes of England Golf and the PGA have declined invitations to come to N1’s previous initiatives and now it has gotten to a stage where they don’t bother inviting them if they aren’t going to make the effort.
Their mission from now on is to let their golf do the talking ‘If we shoot 62 enough people will notice’.
So what do they do?
It probably explains my initial shock at the lack of attendance of golfing officialdom at their new foundation launch which you’d think they’d be all over?
N1 have teamed up with 5 Star Active who are a network of charities including the likes of the Rio Ferdinand Foundation amongst others. They work with youngsters, especially those who might be vulnerable or might not get the opportunities of others, and help them engage and learn through sport.
Quite often in golf you hear all this spiel and all that happens is some staff at a sponsor or bank turn up with t-shirts over their suits for a photo call in what is essentially a PR exercise… but this seems different.
N1’s work includes intro to golf across as many schools continually, going into the schools and inviting them to a venue, festivals, open weekends, kids comps, an annual fundraising dinner and an annual golf day - which will raise funds and bring sponsors on board for further funding - all of which goes back into the foundation offering the above. It is all non profit and only goes to the projects in place.
On the day
On the launch day about 100 kids from Walworth Academy in Southwark and Lambeth came down, one of which had hit a golf ball before. The fantastic thing about it was as soon as the kids got on the range they were genuinely loving it.
The coaches gave them the odd little tip with grip and posture but apart from that the whole thing was about the kids having fun. Perfectly summed up by when the guys drove past collecting balls gesturing to the kids to take aim!
The best part was when the kids were talking about coming back and even having their birthday party at the venue.
When you see this it staggers you that golf can’t see this is exactly what the game needs and why isn’t it shouting from the rooftops at any given opportunity?
If golf is to grow it needs a better image and youth surely must be the future? What N1 is doing is fantastic and should be an example to all and shows that if you want a job done, it’s normally better to do it yourself!
I'm the Managing Editor at The Club. I like putting and Rioja. I dislike my low slice.