Two Brighton golf clubs have urged members to back a free hire scheme for youngsters to make it easier for them to start playing the game.
Hollingbury Park and Waterhall want golfers to donate their unwanted clubs to help youngsters who can’t afford to buy their own equipment.
The initiative is called Clubs 4 All. The company that runs the two courses on behalf of Brighton and Hove City Council, Mytime Golf, issued its appeal to coincide with Christmas. It is targeting any golfers who were given or who bought new clubs or sets.
The scheme is being supported by the former Charlton and Chelsea footballer Paul Elliott, who has spent years working in sport with aspiring young players.
He said: “This initiative is such a smart way to give greater access to the sport for those who may not be able to buy the equipment needed to play.
“It is so important that young people are given as much help and support to stay fit and healthy in as many ways as possible.
“Not only will Clubs 4 All help with fitness, it will also help develop social skills too. It’s a real win-win situation.”
Mytime said that donated clubs would be reconditioned to make golf sets to be used by young adults at Hollingbury Park and Waterhall.
The youngsters would then be able to play without having to buy or rent golf clubs.
The aim was to inspire more young people to take up the sport without having to invest hundreds of pounds in equipment.
Mytime said that research has found that the cost was one of the main reasons that other sports were more popular than golf.
It said that it hoped that if young people were given free access to the equipment, with affordable prices to play, then the sport would be more accessible.
Brad Chard, Mytime’s golf divisional manager, said: “We believe this is a truly exciting opportunity for young people in this area and for the sport in general.
“There are so many young adults who are inspired by golfing stars like Rory McElroy and Justin Rose but because of the cost involved simply cannot afford to play.”
Mr Chard said that the Clubs 4 All scheme was about helping the next generation.
He added: “There has never been a better time to get young adults interested in golf, especially with fears that sedentary pastimes like TV and video games are creating obesity problems.”
He said that the sport was a great way to stay fit and healthy. And golf courses were an ideal place to learn about friendly competition, rules, etiquette and how to develop life skills and core values that transcend the game.