PGAs of Europe Director of Education & Membership, Tony Bennett, will speak at the 2016 A.S.K. Workshops in Hungary on 26th July – here Tony explains some of the background to his presentation…
There is nothing much wrong with Golf. The game that we play, which by my definition is a sport where we take a stick, hit an object to a target that is either in, on or above the ground, is old. In fact, Golf is very old. 600 years or more we are informed. Well if it’s old it must be good, otherwise, it would have died, or at least be on its death bed.
Solo Synchronised Swimming (Los Angeles Olympics 1984), yes I could not believe it either, is one such sport that is no longer practised, while Croquet, Tug-of-War and Rackets are little more than niche sports.
The demise of Golf is exaggerated, it is not dying as some people would have you believe. Perhaps, as is the case with an old car or house for that matter, Golf could have done with a little renovation and restoration towards the end of the last century, but when things were going well, why would it change?
Initiatives such as Sprint6Golf and Golf Educatif will at least, in my opinion, make a difference. Each keeps the fundamental principles of golf at their core and address the key issues of time, cost and difficulty. The PGA Junior Golf League is growing the number of kids engaged in the sport in the USA and soon in Europe, while Golf Europe’s GoGolf Europe project is now being trialled in five countries with the objective of keeping adolescents in the game for longer.
Golf development is about making sure that people have a chance to take part in the sport, ensuring that all sections of the community are aware of available activities, and letting them know where they can get involved. I have long been an advocate of the golf professional having the capability to transform into a Golf Developer, a bit like Clark Kent who works as a newspaper journalist for the Daily Planet, only to change into Superman at a moments notice. Golf Developers ooze a passion for the sport, organise golf related activities, distribute information, arrange taster sessions, coaching and put like-minded people together. The golf developer is a facilitator who makes things happen.
If you want some things to change, then you have to change some things. Often it starts with ourselves. Perhaps you can consider the five questions that always get me thinking about the realisation of the things that I want to achieve.
To achieve my objective:
- What type of person do I need to become?
- What attitude do I need to have?
- What do I need to learn?
- Who can help me to develop the attitudes, skills and knowledge that I need?
- What barriers do I need to overcome?
See you in Budapest.