The Isle of Man Golf Partnership (IOMGP) was formed in November 2007 and is an alliance between the Isle of Man Golf Union, the Women’s Golf Association and Professional Golfer’s Association. In May 2008, forums were held with attendees from clubs and sports development organisations to address golf’s strengths and weaknesses, recruitment, retention, priority groups and important areas for future planning.

The Partnership has since produced a development plan for 2008 to 2011, which focuses on the areas highlighted in the forums. Targets have been set for many areas including increasing participation by 5%, with specific focus on women and girls, families, disabilities and the 18 to 35 age group.

Richard Flint, English Golf Union (EGU)/English Women’s Golf Association (EWGA) Golf Development Manager, commented, “The IOMGP have set some ambitious targets and are looking to use EGU/EWGA initiatives such as the GolfMark accreditation scheme, coaching grants and skills programme to develop facility structures and support player development at all levels”.

IOMGP are working closely with Manx Sport and Recreation, who work with a range of sporting facilities to increase paritipcation on the island and the partnership have already held a Tri-Golf and Golf Xtreme workshop for clubs, teachers and Manx Sport and Recreation staff. Other forthcoming acitivites include taster sessions and developing links with schools.

Karen McGurgan has been appointed as Development Officer for the island and will be supporting them in achieving their aims and objectives. Karen is currently visiting all golf clubs to offer guidance on development initiatives and will also be implementing a volunteer strategy, sourcing funding and developing the role and structure of the IOMGP.

Another focus area for the Partnership is being proactive in terms of child protection and equality, with a commitment to developing procedures to ensure that golf is safe, accessible and fair to all. To start this process, a Safeguarding and Protecting Children workshop for golf clubs representatives has been arranged in August.

Brian Partington OBE, Chairman of the Partnership added, “The IOMGP is vital for the future health of golf on our island and we are committed to developing practices to improve all aspects of the game. We would like to thank our affiliated clubs for their support and hopefully through the plan, they will be rewarded in a number of areas including increased membership and volunteers”.

County Golf Partnerships are an initiative that has been introduced through the delivery of England Golf’s ‘Whole Sport Plan’ for golf and are an integral part of its vision to ‘Grow the Game’.

More information on County Golf Partnerships can be found on the ‘For Golf Clubs’ section of the EGU website, www.englishgolfunion.org and then click on ‘Info for Counties’.