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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Youth drive for West Lothian Golf Club

West Lothian Golf Club has taken a major step towards improving its junior section after becoming the newest club to join forces with the national junior golf programme, clubgolf.

Emerging out of Scotland’s successful bid to host the Ryder Cup, clubgolf is a partnership between the Scottish Golf Union, the Scottish Ladies' Golfing Association, the Professional Golfers' Association, the Golf Foundation and sportscotland. Launched in 2003 by Colin Montgomerie, clubgolf has been developed as a direct result of the Scottish Government’s commitment to introduce every nine-year-old child in Scotland to golf.

Like many golf clubs across Scotland, West Lothian had become acutely aware that its junior section was not what it could be.

“Our junior membership has never been as healthy as it should be,” said the club’s Pro, Alan Reid.

“I saw an opportunity because there were no golf clubs doing clubgolf in the Bo’ness area. We’ve got 60 juniors but only 25 play, and want to get them all on board as well as bringing in new junior members. We want to get a better junior member within the club by training them and teaching them the right way to play.”

Fortunately for the future health of the club, and the area’s children, Mr Reid will be supported by four club members who have become qualified PGA Level 1 volunteer coaches. With Mr Reid being qualified to coach Stage 3 of the programme the club is now fully prepared to coach juniors from complete beginner to advanced levels.

“I am putting everything in place at the moment and during Easter I’m hoping to get the volunteer coaches involved an hour’s coaching of the members to get them up and running,” said Mr Reid. Come the summer it will be full steam ahead.”

The club’s junior plans coincide with clubgolf’s roll out of the introductory game in schools across Scotland - this year 38,000 P5 children will experience the game.

“In Bo’ness around 200 children will be doing clubgolf at school over the next term,” said Kate Wallace, Active Schools Co-ordinator for Bo'ness.

“With West Lothian Golf Club on board this is the first link with a club we have had and it means we can get kids involved in a sport which they wouldn’t have had a shot at themselves. This will be a really good opportunity for the children.

“We are planning to do some work together over the holiday programmes. Alan will be supporting my programme by coming in to deliver some coaching in the schools and I’ll be helping promote his holiday programme at the golf club.”

The club has also identified an area of ground which it plans to develop into a three hole course and practice area for the juniors.

“Now is a great opportunity for youngsters to take up golf,” said Mr Reid. “In conjunction with the local schools we will get a constant trail of youngsters coming to the club.

“I played for Scotland and it’s something I’m passionate about. I want to make sure my juniors get the best start and can progress from club level, through to county and hopefully national level so we can start producing some top quality golfers.”

For further information about junior coaching at West Lothian Golf Club please contact:
Alan Reid on Tel: 01506 825060

In 2009 clubgolf plans to have 260 clubs on board and delivering clubgolf programmes. To accommodate local children clubgolf needs 350 volunteers to become trained on the Level 1 course this year.

For further information about clubgolf, volunteer coach training and how it can benefit local clubs please contact: Mandy Martin, clubgolf Regional Manager, Central Scotland on
Tel: 07956 540587 E-mail: