MIDLANDS Golf Week is going for gold in this Olympic year with a new date and new plans to introduce the sport to even more people.
The week-long festival of golf – which is held across seven counties - will take place from April 9th-15th, 2012.
Last year's Midlands Golf Week was the first to be staged and saw nearly 1,200 would-be golfers get involved in free taster sessions and coaching programmes at more than 80 clubs.
“The week proved a great success,” says Sharon Heeley, regional development officer for the English Golf Union and English Women's Golf Association. “Now we want to build on that success by involving even more clubs and raising the profile even further about what is on offer at golf clubs across the Midlands.”
This year's sporting calendar will be dominated by the Olympics in London, but it is hoped the new date will help golf clubs make the most of the high level of interest surrounding the sport at the time of the US Masters in April.
Golf itself can look forward to a return to the Olympic schedule in 2016 – for the first time since 1904 – which will help the worldwide drive to encourage more people to take up a sport that offers many social and health benefits.
“The clubs that staged events during last year's Midlands Golf Week worked really hard and there were some really imaginative ideas,” added Sharon Heeley. “The fact that we have announced this year's date already means clubs can plan ahead and look at ways of marketing their events and getting the local community involved.”
The website www.midlandsgolfweek.co.ukis being used to share the best ideas as clubs prepare, and will once again include a full events listing.
Events this year included taster sessions for a number of different groups ranging from juniors to families, ladies only to couples, as well as group coaching sessions or discounted green fees.
Midlands GolfWeek will be publicised with a series of public venue road-shows to be held in February and March this year to encourage people to sign up for club-based activities while local business and groups such as Rotary, WI and Ladies Circles will also be encouraged to get involved. Last year saw the ladies from Stratford WI Lite enjoy a special taster session night out at the Stratford Oaks Golf Centre – and many of them have returned to develop their interest in golf.
“By starting to plan the 2012 Midlands Golf Week now, clubs can make the most of the support that is available and we can help build a strong future for the game of golf,” adds Sharon Heeley.
The counties taking part are Herefordshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire.