Pilot project will grow golf in three counties

Initiatives will discover what makes golf attractive to newcomers.

A ground-breaking project has been launched in three counties which will trial new ways of increasing the number of people who play golf.

The project will see England Golf work intensively over two years with clubs and county organisations in Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Northampstonshire.

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England Golf chief executive David Joy said: “We are looking at ways we can do things differently by making the sport more relevant to today’s lifestyles and consumer habits.
‘We will look at how to change the image of golf and make it fun for families’ “For example, people are often short of time so we will investigate new, quicker ways to play, such as nine-hole formats. We will also look at how to change the image of golf, making it more fun and friendly for families.”

Clubs which are participating in the scheme will receive increased business support, including marketing and training and will test ideas to see if they make the game more accessible and membership more attractive.

Joy added: “This exciting scheme will allow us to address some existing challenges, try some new approaches, test new ideas and share good practice. We hope that working intensively to grow golf in these three counties will yield vital information that we can then apply nationwide.”

The project is part of England Golf’s Strategic Plan 2014-17.

Johnson does the double at Berkhamsted

England international Luke Johnson has become only the second player to defend the Berkhamsted Trophy.

“It was great to win again because there was a little bit more defending – and because I didn’t feel I was in it. But I chipped in for birdie on the 12th and birdied 16 and 17 to win by one,” said Johnson.

A 36-hole total of level par was enough to give the King’s Lynn native the victory.

Johnson, 22, a member of the England Golf men’s squad, won in a play-off last year, having been eliminated in another play-off in 2013. The last time the trophy was won in successive years was 1978 and 79 when John Davies of Mid Surrey did the double.

Penge equals McEvoy record

A medical emergency disrupted play in the final round of the Peter McEvoy Trophy at Copt Heath, but England international Marco  Penge retained his focus to score a record-equalling win.

Play was halted for two hours while emergency services tended to a member who was injured in a fall on the course.

The 12-under par total achieved by the Golf at Goodwood 16-year-old equalled the tournament’s scoring record. It was the second time Penge had won the trophy, repeating his 2013 feat.

He said: “I could have been a lot lower in the last round, but it was a good score,” added Penge, who played well off the tee throughout the tournament. “I kept it in play, I only went to the pins when I could and I aimed for the middle of the green when they were tucked away.”

Penge’s win underlines a good start to the season in which he has already won a Faldo series event, qualified for the match play in the Spanish amateur and finished 11th in the Duncan Putter in Wales.

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