Like all junior golf programs, Future Links, driven by Acura from Golf Canada deserves as much support as it can get. After all, it is developing the future of the game in Canada. The latest boost to the program is a massive one, a three-year commitment by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews.
Golf Canada will receive support for their national junior golf program thanks to a decision by the R&A’s Development Committee.
The R&A and Golf Canada already have a strong working relationship and Golf Canada Chief Sport Officer and interim CEO Jeff Thompson sees this latest alliance as more evidence of that.
“We are tremendously proud to have The R&A as a partner in the Future Links program,” said Thompson. “We share a common vision to engage more youth in golf and believe the strength of our junior golf curriculum and depth of the overall Future Links program are well aligned with The R&A’s goal for golf development.”
“We thought this was a good program and one that was worthy of our support,” explained Duncan Weir, Executive Director – Golf Development at The R&A, who see a possibility for the model to be replicated in other countries. “Links are strong, dialogue is strong, Golf Canada has a strong track record and I’d like to think we have a decent track record of supporting Golf Canada’s good efforts. So this was really a continuation of that relationship and something that impressed us.”
No terms were revealed on the commitment by the R&A but all funding is welcome for the Golf Canada program that constitutes a number of elements.
Future Links, driven by Acura, is a joint grassroots initiative of Golf Canada, the PGA of Canada and the provincial golf associations which offer a full suite of junior golf programs for boys and girls ages 6 to 18—from beginners to those with more experience or greater playing ability.
Future Links, driven by Acura includes a comprehensive suite of junior golf activities for children of all ages and skill level. The program has been restructured under three core areas of focus—in-school programming, facility programming and community outreach.
Elements under the Future Links junior golf umbrella include Learn to Play, Junior League, Girl’s Club, Mobile Clinics, Junior Skills Competition, and Community Golf Coach, along with six regional Future Links Junior Championships.
Beginning in 2017, Golf Canada has also integrated the popular Golf in Schools program under the Future Links suite of junior golf activities. With more than 400,000 children currently learning golf at nearly 3,400 schools (elementary, intermediate and high schools) as part of the Canadian Physical Education curriculum, Future Links, driven by Acura is supporting quality junior golf experiences from in-schools to on-course at clubs across Canada.
2016 saw continued success for the Future Links, driven by Acura, program with more than 85,000 junior golfers taking part. That included 60,000 who were reached through more than 750 Future Links Mobile Clinics across the country.
Future Links was first introduced in 1996 and has introduced golf to more than 1.3 million Canadian children.
More information is available at golfcanada.ca/futurelinks.