New men at Golf Foundation helm

IT’S all change at the top of the Golf Foundation as the charity welcomed formally a new president and chairman at its annual meeting.

PIC 1 - GOLF FOUNDATIONPGA chief executive  Sandy Jones (pictured right) has  taken over as president from Ryder Cup hero Colin Montgomerie after five years, while golf industry expert Stephen Lewis (pictured left), former CEO of Crown Golf, assumes the chairman’s role from Charles Harrison, who has served the charity for seven years.

The appointments are seen as key for the nationally recognised golf charity which makes the benefits of the game available to young people, and helps them to ‘Start, Learn and Stay’ in the sport.

Since 2011, the Golf Foundation’s HSBC Golf Roots programme has given a first introduction to golf to more than 3 million young people across the United Kingdom. The aim is to encourage ever increasing numbers of young people into golf clubs so they can learn their golf with PGA Professionals, while offering youngsters the ‘Skills for Life’ benefits associated with the game.

The latest HSBC Golf Roots figures were revealed at the meeting which show just under 40,000 young people had passed through the gates of a golf club in a year to enjoy the benefits of golf – a significant 21 per cent increase on the previous year.

The aim is to reach 50,000 by 2018, with 10,000 young people each year playing golf regularly at club level through the initiative.

Jones was “thrilled” to take on the role of president. “This charity is all about helping the next generation of young players, so if I can help the Golf Foundation team through my experience in the game I’ll be delighted,” he said.

Lewis added: “I passionately believe in the core values, aims and goals of the Golf Foundation and look to build on the excellent work and progress that the outgoing chairman Charles Harrison has delivered. I am really keen to play a part in helping the next generation of players and will grab this unique opportunity to support the Golf Foundation and its highly motivated team led by Brendon Pyle.”

Golf Foundation chief executive Brendon Pyle said: “Our Board of Trustees and all involved in our charity are delighted that in Sandy and Stephen we are being supported by two passionate golf people who share years of experience in the golf industry and in the sport at the highest level. We also know that they care deeply about the future of the game and understand completely why this charity’s support of young people from all backgrounds and circumstances, from all walks of life, is so important.

“Colin Montgomerie has been an inspirational president for the Golf Foundation as this charity has sought to raise itself to a higher level in terms of enriching the lives of young people through golf. Colin has served us in a period of highly successful growth. In this time, he has publicly championed HSBC Golf Roots at every opportunity and has always been delighted to roll up his sleeves and take on youngsters in Tri-Golf at public golf events, usually winning but always with a smile. We are hugely grateful to Colin for his efforts.”

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* To learn more about the Golf Foundation call 01992 449830 or see www.golf-foundation.org

* For media information on the Golf Foundation, call Ben Evans on 01747 820384 or 07789 722853.

* The Golf Foundation is a British charity dedicated to making the game more accessible for young people and helping them to ‘Start, Learn and Stay’ in golf.

* The Golf Foundation achieves these objectives through a network of regional development officers helping clubs, schools and community groups, and by working in partnership with the golfing bodies in England, Scotland and Wales.

* The Golf Foundation supports youngsters from many different backgrounds through its national programme, HSBC Golf Roots. HSBC Golf Roots is supported by The R&A, headline sponsor HSBC, The European Tour, the Professional Golfers’ Association, the Ryder Cup, England Golf, Sport England and the British Golf Industry Association’s ‘Grow Golf’ Fund.

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