BGA programme geared towards developing junior golfers
The relaunch of the Bermuda Golf Association’s junior programme has proven to be a big hit.
The initiative involves nearly one hundred boys and girls, as young as five-years-old, who are being taught the fundamentals of the sport at weekly sessions held at Port Royal Golf Course and Ocean View Golf Course.
“We have 95 enrolled so on a weekly basis we have anywhere from 60 plus children coming through on Fridays and Saturdays,” Ebonie Cox, the BGA golf development officer, told The Royal Gazette.
Fridays have been set aside for novice players aged 5 to7 and Saturday for more advanced players eight and older, which make up the largest group.
Cox said the programme is designed to groom well-rounded athletes and not just golfers.
“They will learn the theory, terminology, rules, etiquette and then we also add some life skills where it pertains to golf, but it will be things that they can use outside,” she added.
“Last term we did respect, which is a big one for golfers and then just in life in general. We try to make them complete athletes rather than just golfers, so we are tuned in to everything. Most of our drills incorporate multiple skills ‒ Maths, English, Spelling, Reading ‒ all of that type of stuff.”
The BGA has also launched a pilot programme in the schools, which is designed to expose even more youngsters to the sport.
“My intention, as well as the association’s, is to try and get into the public schools to get golf clubs in more hands,” Cox said. “That is the real goal right there, just to get golf clubs in more hands at a younger age.”
The association’s ultimate aim is to restore its junior programme to its former glory. They also hope to see the island represented at more international youth tournaments, while improving in the areas of diversity and inclusion in the sport.
“In the past, junior golf has been a big thing, so my intention is to try and get us back to where we once were, to get children exposed and eventually travelling and representing the island again at junior level,” Cox said.
“The plan now is to get a pool of players who will be eligible to represent Bermuda and on the flip side, something that is dear to me, is exposing parts of our community that wouldn’t necessarily be exposed regularly.
“We are just trying to expose as many people as we can and want to be able to show that anybody can pick up golf no matter your background or any of that.”
Cox is passionate about her role and thrilled to have been granted the opportunity to put something back into a sport which she has benefited from in so many ways.
“The trickle down affect for me goes way deeper for what golf has done for me just in what I have been through,” she said.
“It’s taken me all over the world and gotten me through school. It’s also got me through some of the hardest times, so I just want people to understand that it’s not just a sport. It’s a tool that I have used to get through many situations in life.”