Get into golf - the national campaign to grow the game - got down to business when it teed off a taster day in the heart of London’s Canary Wharf.
Businessmen in sharp suits and ties joined tourists and shoppers to take on a putting challenge or to have a quick lesson with a PGA professional.
The Get into golf event, featuring brightly coloured inflatable nets and a putting green, proved a huge draw to passers-by who frequently queued to take part.
The one-day event officially launched the England Golf Partnership's campaign to inspire new golfers and support its plan to make England the world’s leading golf nation by 2020.
“It’s great,” said businessman Anthony Doherty, who devoted a chunk of his lunch break to a refresher golf lesson. His colleague and regular golfer, Ross McKie, looked on approvingly. “This is a really good idea to get people swinging a club,” he said.
Another businessman, Nathanael Conn, was also tempted into the nets: “This is great fun and it’s brilliant to have it here. I’d like to think golf is a much more accessible sport than it was years ago.”
Birmingham teachers Kiren Rana and Kamal Nijjar both loved their taste of golf and returned home, planning to check out the many taster opportunities in their area. “I really enjoyed it,” said Kamal. “I thought I would be really awful but it was good! We both think we might have a go at golf.”
The event attracted all ages, from tiny tots to an 85-year-old enthusiast. They were encouraged by members of England’s Golf Youth Panel, volunteers who staffed the stand, and they were offered taster lessons by PGA professionals John McCartney and Paul McNulty, from the Golf Lab indoor academy in Canary Wharf. “This is a brilliant way to raise awareness,” said John.
Visitors to the event were given details of the Get into golf website, www.getintogolf.org which features taster and coaching opportunities opportunities across the country. These are also available via a free telephone hotline: 0800 118 2766
The Get into golf campaign is organised by the England Golf Partnership (EGP) which brings together the amateur governing body, England Golf, and the Professional Golfers’ Association to grow the game with the support of the Golf Foundation and Sport England. The EGP’s vision is to make England the world’s leading golf nation by 2020.
Get into golf is run through the network of County Golf Partnerships and is supported in some areas by radio and outdoor advertising.