CLOSE House pro Jonathan Lupton teamed up with stars from the European men’s and women’s tours at the official launch of Golf Roots at Wentworth during the BMW PGA Championship.
Lupton, who was joined by another Yorkshire player Rebecca Hudson, Ross Fisher and Ken Brown to play Tri-Golf games with local youngsters in Wentworth’s tented village to mark the occasion . . . ended up a winner.
Golf Roots is run by the Golf Foundation and develops playing and personal skills amongst thousands of young people. It aims to reach one million youngsters a year by 2013.
Fisher, Felicity Johnson and Hudson led one team of youngsters, while Ken Brown was joined by young golf volunteer from Suffolk Danni Lee to lead a second team.
In the final team were Craig Shave and Lupton, both of whom had the distinction of qualifying for the BMW PGA Championship through PGA events last year.
Both men combine tournament play with PGA coaching and both support the Golf Foundation at a local level, teaching golf in schools, and then encouraging youngsters towards club activity. As both have played Tri-Golf before perhaps it was no surprise they won the contest and the medals
Rebecca Hudson said: “When I first played golf, without the support of my junior organiser Fred Sumner and the Golf Foundation I doubt that I would of had the start in golf. I’m happy if I can put something back and help young girls to see golf as a good sport to play, and that’s true of all Ladies European Tour players. Felicity and I really enjoyed this golf challenge and to be a Golf Roots Ambassador is a great feeling.”
Mike Round, chief executive of the Golf Foundation, said: “I think Ross, Ken, Rebecca, Felicity, Craig and Jon have really helped to advance the cause of Golf Roots here today.
“To have a leading European Tour professional inspiring the youngsters, a much-loved BBC commentator and two of the players who are driving women’s golf forward in Britain is fantastic. It was also great to welcome Craig and Jon who are two PGA professionals who have been instrumental in our Golf Roots work in the regions.
“We are delighted they are playing in the championship. Finally, I’d like to thank the European Tour for providing us with this junior golf centre for the week at Wentworth, which we are operating on behalf of the England Golf Partnership.”
The Golf Foundation has a proven track record in increasing the level of golf in schools and plays a major role in linking these schools to golf clubs and driving ranges to increase junior participation rates in support of the national golf partnerships of England, Scotland and Wales.
Golf Roots has heavyweight support from the R&A, the European Tour, the Ryder Cup, the PGA, the BGIA, England Golf and Sport England. A further amount of money has been made available from the Ryder Cup Trust. Individual donations are also important, like that of BBC radio presenter DJ Spoony, who has raised funds for the Golf Roots Cities project over a number of years.