KirkwoodGolf: Dunbar Pros take golf into local primary school

Monday, March 29, 2010

Dunbar Pros take golf into local primary school

Jacky Montgomery, Dunbar Golf Club’s PGA Pro, together with his fully qualified assistant, Richard Cartright, who lead the clubgolf programme at the club, made an extra effort to encourage children to take up the sport this year by organising a competition for Dunbar Primary School children on their own grounds.

“I wanted to engage with that primary school before the children came to the club for coaching,” said Jacky, who supported the coaching organised by the school and East Lothian Council’s Junior Golf Development Officer, Kate Green,

“We’ve been generally good at attracting children to the club but hope to have sparked even more interest as a result of today.”

Dunbar Golf Club began offering clubgolf coaching in 2006.  A lasting legacy to Scotland’s successful bid to host the 2014 Ryder Cup, clubgolf is a partnership between the Scottish Golf Union, the Scottish Ladies' Golfing Association, the Professional Golfers' Association, the Golf Foundation and sportscotland.

The club started with two volunteer coaches and 30 children, increasing that figure steadily to 66 children in 2009. 

P5 children who have played clubgolf’s introductory game, firstclubgolf, at five local primary schools feed into the club's weekly clubgolf coaching sessions delivered on a Monday and Tuesday evening through the season.

“We now have 14 volunteer coaches and between our Stage 1 and 2 programmes we will have around 90 children on coaching programmes at the club,” said Jacky.

“We have children on the second year of Stage 2 coaching who are almost at Stage 3.  Both my assistant, Richard, and I have done what we need to deliver Stage 3 coaching and by the end of this summer we will be rolling it out.”

Last week at Dunbar Primary the emphasis was on attracting a new group of P5 children to begin at the initial levels of the programme.

“These children would have already had three or four sessions with their teacher playing firstclubgolf and letters have gone out inviting them to come to the club for Stage 1 coaching,” said Jacky.

“Over the afternoon we had around 90 children playing in a Texas scramble over eight holes.  I was able to get round and see most of the kids and help them.  I think they enjoyed the fact that the local Pro was there; maybe there was a little bit of a novelty factor and hopefully we sparked some real interest.

“There were certainly lots of happy smiling faces.”

This term firstclubgolf will be rolled out in every East Lothian primary school.  In the past, 25 percent of P5 children from Dunbar, West Barns, Stenton and East Linton Primary schools have decided to progress from firstclubgolf to Stage 1 coaching at the club.  The fifth feeder school, Innerwick Primary, was on rotation in 2009 but has rejoined the programme in 2010 and hope to also have some children continuing with golf.

Dunbar has a high rate of children progressing through their player pathway and continuing from stage 1 to stage 2 of the programme.  Most of the children are now choosing to join the club and put their new skills in to practise as junior members.

The club has taken the proactive approach to recruiting a dedicated and enthusiastic group of PGA Level 1 coaches.   Club member, Dave Northcott, is entering his fifth year as the club's clubgolf coordinator, a role he undertakes on a voluntary basis.

"It was fantastic to have Jacky and Richard's support at the games sessions at Dunbar Primary,” said Kate Green, Junior Golf Development Officer, East Lothian Council.

“Setting up a miniature golf course in the school’s playing fields allowed the children to put into practice the shots they have been learning in the previous sessions delivered by their class teacher.

“It is important that children feel confident enough to progress on to coaching at club level.   The club Pros are both great role models and in an ideal position to welcome children into the club set up.

“Having the Pros at the school was a great help in strengthening the link between the school and the club.”

For more information about clubgolf and how it can benefit your school or club visit: and contact:

clubgolf’s East of Scotland Regional Manager, Laura Rushby on:

t: +44 (0)7956 540595 e: