St Andrews Links Junior Golf Association (SALJGA) has received a major boost with the news that the Royal & Ancient Golf Club has pledged to continue its support with £75,000 of funding over the next five years.
The R&A has been a committed supporter of SALJGA since it was formed and sees it as a key element in the development of junior golf in St Andrews.
Duncan Weir, director of Golf Development at The R&A, met with Nick Randerson, Junior Golf co-ordinator at the Links Trust, to confirm the award.
SALJGA was established in 2001 by theTrust in partnership with local golf clubs in the town to provide co-ordinated support for the development of young golfers from the ages of five through to 18.
Since then, hundreds of youngsters, who live in St Andrews or go to school in the town, have benefited from the programme which offers coaching from PGA professionals and volunteer coaches and gives them the opportunity to take part in competitions on the Links courses.
In recent years, talented young players such as Ewan Scott, Ian Redford, Daniel Sommerville, Peter Latimer, Greg Paterson, Ben Kinsley and, more recently, Lauren Whyte and Alasdair McDougall have emerged through the programme to achieve national success.
Mr Weir told the Citizen: “We have supported SALJGA since the beginning and are delighted with the success it has had in giving access to the game to youngsters in St Andrews.
‘‘Ten years on, we are now starting to see the fruits of the programme. There have never been more boys and girls from this area playing in county and national events. SALJGA is one of the most effective programmes of its kind anywhere and we are pleased to give it our continued support.”
Mr Randerson, said: “This is extremely welcome backing from The R&A which will assist us in continuing to develop the junior golf programme in St Andrews in the years to come.
‘‘SALJGA is all about encouraging youngsters to take up the game and have the opportunity to learn and gain experience in a supportive environment. With the support of a team of volunteer coaches we run a programme of coaching and competitions throughout the season and funding such as this is very important.”
For more information on SALJGA visit www.saljga.com.