England Golf has awarded the Suffolk Golf Partnership £22,000 over the next three years to support the development of golf in the county.

The Suffolk Golf Partnership (SGP) was formed in January 2008 and is an alliance between the Suffolk Golf Union, Suffolk Ladies’ County Golf Association and Suffolk Professional Golfers’ Association, with support from the Golf Foundation and Suffolk Sport.

The Suffolk Partnership aims to promote the game of golf and standard of play, to introduce more people to the game and into regular participation, regardless of age, gender and background. The aim will be achieved through the implementation and review of a development plan, which includes ideas and actions from the 3 golf club forums held in January 2008, which 115 people attended (representation of 26 clubs).

The Partnership will use the money to support its target of increasing the number of people playing golf in Suffolk by 3% through a variety of initiatives and schemes, including taster sessions, activity days, running roadshows and improving links with non affiliated facilities, County Sports Partnerships and local authorities. By 2011, the SGP aims to have 12 clubs accredited to GolfMark and will be researching and promoting alternative or more flexible membership schemes to target priority groups.

Other actions include promoting initiatives to improve player development, supporting new and existing volunteer and professional coaches and promoting best practice.

Richard Flint, English Golf Union (EGU)/English Women’s Golf Association (EWGA) Golf Development Manager, commented, “The Suffolk Golf Partnership have produced a comprehensive development plan, which will set the footing for future success for golfers and facilities”.

Colin Firmin, Partnership Chairman commented, “Through all the bodies working together, the partnership is confident that the objectives set out in the development plan will be achieved and golf in Suffolk will thrive as a result of this. The SGP would like to take this opportunity to thank all golf clubs for their support of the partnership and the forums”.

For further details on the Suffolk Golf Partnership visit their website suffolkgolfpartnership.org.uk

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’. To date almost £500,000 has been committed to developing golf through County Golf Partnerships.

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