The Golf Foundation has revamped its official junior learning programme to encourage youngsters to play through the winter.
The Junior Golf Passport - which plays a key role for the charity in helping change the lives of young people through golf - takes juniors step-by-step through the necessary rules, etiquette and skills that make up the game.
PGA professionals implementing the scheme can now benefit from the Foundation's new supportive campaign - 'Winter is Coming'.
Game of Thrones fans will recognise these words as the oft-spoken words of House Stark - the faction synonymous with cold, harsh weather.
By a similar token, the 'Winter is Coming' campaign will enable more focused junior coaching - via new activities and games - to help stem the high drop-out rate of youngsters in the winter months.
This increased offering provides an inventive and practical solution to the difficulties associated with sub-optimal course conditions and shorter daylight hours.
The new activities include ‘Ryder Cup’, ‘Dragons’ Den’ (where juniors pitch playing ideas to the coach), ‘Scavenger Hunt’ (a clubhouse search for clues about their club), fun word searches (‘What’s in the Bag?’), ‘Dice Golf’ and ‘Join the dots, count the shots’, are just some examples which all increase children’s knowledge of the sport and their loyalty towards their coach and golf club. Much of this activity can be enjoyed indoors in bad weather and can help keep the group of juniors together.
Martin Crowder, Head of Development for the Golf Foundation, said: “Working closely with PGA professional colleagues we recognise that it is desirable for everyone connected with junior golf to promote the sport as an all-year-round option, to keep boys and girls keen, working with their coaches right through the winter so that they are just as motivated in the spring.
"We also want PGA coaches to see that however big or small their facility we can help them to offer a fantastic junior programme in their area, every month of the year. These winter features are helping to create a buzz for juniors and their families.”
In many cases, the interest in the Passport from parents and families is also having a direct influence in overall golf club business as families support their children as they learn in the club environment.
Each golf club registered for the Junior Golf Passport can also receive copies of the magazine for juniors called ‘Golf Cubs’ at a special partnership rate which can create a profitable sales addition for coaches. The magazine can be used as an ongoing, brightly illustrated coaching resource for the PGA coach that can also be taken home and shared with the junior’s family to create added interest away from the club.
The cost of the Junior Golf Passport is £120 for a 12-month licence.