Scottish Golf has launched its biggest-ever campaign to encourage more people to get outside playing and enjoying the game of golf at clubs across the country.
‘Get into Golf’ is a summer of activity aimed at encouraging adult beginners, or those who perhaps played as a youngster and had to give it up for work and family commitments, to pick up a club and get back in the swing.
Over 100 golf clubs have already signed up to deliver great value beginner lessons coupled with access to things like free club hire, free use of practice facilities, a warm welcome in the clubhouse and exclusive introductory membership offers at the end of the programme.
One person that recently rediscovered their old passion for the sport is Scotland and British & Irish Lions fullback, Stuart Hogg, who last week picked up the Player of the Championship Award for his thrilling performances in the RBS 6 Nations.
Hogg, who also plays for reigning Guinness Pro12 Champions Glasgow Warriors, said: “Everybody can play golf. If you’re looking for a good way to relax, get some fresh air and get fit, then playing golf with all the walking around is perfect.
“I highly recommend getting out on the course. You’ve got the enjoyment factor, but the fact that you’re actually doing something active as well means it’s perfect for me and you’ve got the social side as well.”
Hogg’s Glasgow and Scotland teammate, scrum-half Henry Pyrgos, couldn’t agree more: “I started off messing around in the backyard and then, when I got older, I went to the driving range and then onto the course.
“I was always quite competitive at golf with my mum and now I’m really competitive with the other rugby guys who play golf.
“If you enjoyed golf before, then get along to your local club and get back into it. Or if you’re new to the game, take it up. Find a group of friends who are keen then just try to get out as much as you can.”
One of the major success stories of the Get into Golf programme so far is the number of women who have given golf a go, and loved it.
One of those women is broadcaster Eilidh Barbour who interviews Hogg and Pyrgos as part of her day job and also gets to report from many of the major golf events.
Eilidh said: “When my mum started to get quite into it, I thought: ‘I’m going to go out and beat her - and it’s going to be dead easy!’ But I’ve not beaten her yet. I don’t like shopping and other stuff that my mum likes, so golf is our thing that we do together.
“I love being outside so sometimes I just head out and play some golf on my own, just to get out in the fresh air. You walk for miles but it doesn’t feel like it because you are concentrating on something else. I love the competitive aspect too.”
Barbour added: “There are definitely more girls getting involved, I would say it’s a growing sport, and campaigns like this help to encourage that.
“The tours with the female pros are also becoming better known and some of these girls are young and funkily-dressed. It’s the same with the young guys too, like Rickie Fowler, who wears his hi-top boots on the golf course. It’s much more inclusive as a sport.”
Scottish Golf Deputy Chief Executive, Andy Salmon, said: “We want everyone to get outside and have a great time playing golf, so this campaign aims to break down any perceived barriers to taking part – such as the time, cost and stuffiness people might have associated with golf in the past.
“Golf is a sport enjoyed by men and women of all ages and abilities, and we hope that through the Get into Golf campaign, many more discover that it’s a great way to spend time with the family, make friends, keep fit and have loads of fun.”
The marketing and communications campaign kicks-off this week and runs all the way through to September and beyond.
Meanwhile, Scottish Golf will embark on a six-venue tour of Scotland with free public come-and-try sessions available to shoppers at some of the country’s busiest shopping centre destinations.
To find out more about the campaign and to find your local club, log onto our dedicated Get into Golf website at getintogolfscotland.org. You can also follow the campaign on Twitter using the hashtag #GetintoGolf or find us on Facebook - facebook.com/ScottishGolf.