Three-time European Ryder Cup captain Bernard Gallagher says all golf clubs in the UK should offer scholarships to local youth and abolish “old-fashioned” dress codes.
Gallacher, who has represented Europe eight times in the Ryder Cup and has been captain three times, believes more needs to be done to make golf a more inclusive, diverse and accessible sport. . Update to Rule 25.
New Rule 25 modifies certain Rules of Golf to allow players with certain disabilities to play fairly with players without disabilities, with the same disability, or with players with different types of disabilities .
Modifications can be made for blind players, amputee players, players using mobility aids, and players with intellectual disabilities.
Golfcare ambassador Galacher said:
Related: What are the new Rules of Golf?
Rule 25 now applies to all golf competitions and forms of play. Players with neurological or orthopedic conditions, short stature and deaf players are currently excluded from any modifications.
“Soon, there’s another problem,” Bernard added. “Golf has old stereotypes that must be broken if we want to see true progress and expression in the game.
“We have also seen an increase in women and players from ethnic minorities taking up golf after the pandemic. The industry has a duty to ensure that these new golfers remain involved in the game.”
This is due to The R&A recently appointing Neil Graham as its new development manager for the Middle East, with Eden Thompson taking on a similar role in Africa. It is hoped that these key industry appointments will help promote the accessibility and inclusiveness of golf across the above regions of the world.
But back here in the UK, in addition to developing a funded scholarship program for young golfers, Gallacher also needs to revamp existing golf clubs and, indeed, driving range models. I believe there is
he said: You can’t attract a new generation of golfers by permanently maintaining the style of tucked-in shirts and chinos. Britain is beautiful and diverse. Golf should reflect that.
“We should encourage young golfers to wear whatever makes them feel comfortable when playing golf. That is the first step in creating an inclusive and welcoming environment. You can’t call it ‘Sports for All’ and require everyone to dress the same. It no longer works that way.
“Clubs and driving ranges will also need to ramp up their marketing efforts in 2023. Social media is where most people (especially young people) research things and make purchasing decisions, so clubs are a big part of the game. Zero means nothing at all.A lot of golf clubs actually work well, but our problem is nobody knows that.”
Gallacher also believes the Golf Foundation needs support and funding from the wider golf industry and is calling for change. Helping to expand its services for juniors.
The charity will launch the Golfway initiative in 2021. It has been described as “a fun new way for kids to learn golf at school.” The program is expected to serve her 2 million children in 7,500 UK schools over the next five years.
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