Jun 17 2011 by Gordon Bannerman, Perthshire Advertiser Friday
PERTH’S historic North Inch is the focal point for a ground-breaking summer golf tournament aimed at Big County kids.
The Introductory US Kids Golf Open is being staged in Perth on Saturday, July 9 and up to 50 youngsters in the seven to 14 age bracket are being encouraged to take part.
It’s a major coup for the Fair City, which is already in the spotlight in the countdown to the Ryder Cup 2014 at Gleneagles.
And the Perth pioneers are hoping to build-on US Kids Golf Foundation support on this side of the Atlantic to host a major championship next summer.
The North Inch Family Golf Centre is contacting local golf clubs, leisure facilities, schools, hotels and other businesses to flag-up next month’s ground-breaking event.
In a first for Scotland, Perth and Kinross Council has hooked-up with the US Kids Golf Foundation to deliver their family golf coaching programmes at the North Inch over the school holidays.
It is geared towards breathing new life into one of the country’s oldest golf courses.
The emphasis is on family fun and participation, with parents being encouraged to caddy for their kids at the Open Tournament.
North Inch Club professional Colin Roberts said: “We can now offer children and their parents a fabulous programme which incorporates a specially designed short course within the golf course, where families can learn how to play the game and learn the rules and the etiquette of golf through exciting activities, fun challenges and mini competitions.”
On top of that coaching lure for novices, youngsters with some previous experience of golf are being invited to sign-up for the introductory July 9 tournament. There are three categories, age 7-9 (playing nine holes), 10-12 and 13-14. There will be prizes of golfing equipment for the winners. The event starts at noon and entry is £3 for nine holes and £5 for the 18-hole challenge.
Entry forms are available from the North Inch Starter’s Box or they can be requested from firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling Colin on 07933 704447. The closing date for entries is July 1.
Robin Valentine, captain of the Perth Merchants club, welcomed the innovations, stating: “Youngsters have got to be encouraged to take-up golf.
“The rugby club has enjoyed great success with their coaching programme and the beauty of Colin’s approach is that the youngsters learn the etiquette of the game from day one.
“The children learn the basics and the emphasis is very much on the family environment. There are various markers on the course for the different age groups and it doesn’t interfere with general play on the North Inch.”