Scotland’s Sam Torrance and South Africa’s Gary Player were today announced as the latest top players to become official ClubGolf Ambassadors.
First Minister Alex Salmond welcomed eight-time Ryder Cup team player Sam Torrance’s support for Scotland successful national junior golf programme as the two men met children learning golf skills at the ClubGolf zone at Turnberry – on the first day of the Senior British Open at the Ayrshire course.
Gary Player, a nine-times Major winner, also becomes an Ambassador for ClubGolf which, as lasting legacy to Scotland’s staging of the 2014 Ryder Cup, aims to deliver the Scottish Government’s commitment to introduce every nine year old child in Scotland to the game by 2014.
Scots golfing stars Colin Montgomerie, Martin Laird, Scott Jamieson, Stephen Gallacher, Catriona Matthew and Kelsey MacDonald recently signed up to be Ambassadors for ClubGolf, which has also been backed by 18-time Major champion Jack Nicklaus.
The First Minister said: “Scotland is recognised worldwide as the home of golf and this week Turnberry will host many of the game’s greatest and most popular players. I’m absolutely delighted that Sam and Gary are supporting our efforts to boost the profile of the game more widely among young Scots and to ensure we produce many more top players.
“Both players are hugely popular with the public, having given so much to the game and having brought joy and entertainment to golf fans around the world. I am very grateful to them for giving their support to this important initiative as we aim to encourage mass participation amongst our youngsters and unearth the next generation of golfing talent in Scotland.
“ClubGolf has already proved to be a huge success around the country, with more than 220,000 children already having had the opportunity to play the game through the schools programme and over 12,500 participated in coaching programmes at clubs and other golf facilities across Scotland.“
Sam Torrance said:
“I am delighted to be a ClubGolf Ambassador. It is really important to encourage the next generation of young Scottish golfers into the sport. ClubGolf will support our juniors and give them the opportunity to get playing and really help the development of golf in Scotland. I am proud to be involved with this initiative.”
Gary Player added:
“The future of golf relies heavily on capitalising interest in the game amongst the next generation. It is all together fitting that Scotland, which is steep in the tradition and history as the home of golf, is supporting the development of young golfers. Golf has become popular in every corner of the world, and now with its inclusion in the 2014 Olympic games, it is even more important the youth of today understand where the game has come from and their responsibility to pass it on to the next generation to come, as we have done for them.”
ClubGolf is a partnership of the Scottish Golf Union, Scottish Ladies’ Golfing Association, Professional Golfers’ Association, the Golf Foundation and sportscotland. It aims to introduce Scotland’s children to golf and create a development pathway from entry level through to the highest levels of achievement.
The ClubGolf programme is sponsored by the Royal Bank of Scotland, which is supporting the development of golf at a community level in Scotland. Its sponsorship, endorsed by 18-time Major champion Jack Nicklaus, also features the RBS Junior Club of the Year Awards, which rewards clubs making an outstanding contribution to the game at the grass roots.
At Turnberry yesterday, more than 100 young people attended the ClubGolf zone to take part in a golf clinic with US golfer Tom Lehman.