Ryder Cup European Development Trust has supported the PGA of France in order to develop an ‘educational golf’ project through France.
Educational Golf is a project developed by the PGA of France, working with the government in an attempt to promote the benefits of sport and fitness and towards making golf more affordable to all. The aim of the project is to increase the numbers of people, especially children, who are introduced to golf and the social benefits it can bring. Educational Golf is an educational and sports initiative based on respect, etiquette, humility and civic responsibility.
The premise of the Educational Golf programme is of an ‘educational golf course’ which is actually built by the local people who will be using it in order to involve everyone in the project. Fallow, underutilised land is provided by the council and then turned into a ‘proper’ golf course, which is then managed and maintained by the town council. Once completed the golf course will be a municipal facility, open to the entire population of the local town for their use. It will be free of charge to all, whether children or senior citizens.
The first of these new golf courses was opened in Choisy-Le-Roi in 2010 and includes the creation of a new educational golf course, plus a fifteen-bay practice ground and the improvement of the existing golf course. Working with local schools, the project is starting to develop specific educational golf courses – 3, 6 or 9 holes – and supplies golf equipment to the participants.
The project is working closely with local schools, councils and the French Golf Federation in order to develop the land and set up training and develop the educational programme. Further venues are planned in various French departments in order to continue to grow the game of golf in France.
A second new golf course was opened in 2011, this time in Saint Julien du Sault. As above, Golf Educatif is working with the town hall, the town council, the French region and the European Union to bring the project together. Local schools and teachers are keen to bring their pupils to this new golf course in order to learn about golf and the facility is trying to set up golf lessons during the school holidays.
Now that France has been chosen as the host country for the 2018 Ryder Cup Matches the plan is to continue to grow the game of golf throughout the country and introduce as many people as possible to the game, which includes the creation of 100 new golf clubs and making the sport more financially accessible for everyone.
Golf Educatif is hoping to continue this work and open yet more new golf facilities over the next few years.