Fairways to Horsham – an event to take schools by storm

Fairways to Horsham – an event to take schools by storm

A Sussex businessman is at the forefront of encouraging primary school children to enjoy learning to play golf – thanks to the pop-up golf course he has invested in and, a unique competition. The initiative; ‘Fairways to Horsham’ is the brainchild of Mike Yorke, a PGA qualified golf coach and the Founder of MY Golf Academy. Partners include Horsham District Sports Development, Golf Escapes and Tactic Counsel. It will culminate in a grand finale on July 4 hosted by Nick Dougherty, a Sky Academy Ambassador, 3 time European Tour Winner and golf pundit on Sky Sports.

FullSizeRender (3) (1)Says Mike, “delivering grass roots junior golf has always been a passion for me and my team of 10 coaches. We see this very much as a flagship programme for MY Golf Academy. Year on year we have been extending our coaching in the school community and with our investment in the GolfParc® engineered pop-up golf course we are adding an exciting new dimension to our sessions. The course includes all the typical hazards you may find on a full golf course; bunkers, rough, trees, even a lake! We can transform a school playground or playing field into a 6-hole golf course in 40 minutes.”

Schools can choose from a five-hour, three-hour, or one-hour event, with Mike and his team supplying the golf clubs, the pop-up golf course and the tuition. The format enables disabled and non-disabled children to play alongside one another, with additional support and adaptation of equipment. The top 18 teams from each age group will be invited to the Fairways to Horsham final at Horsham Golf Fitness, on the short course which opens in the Spring. Every school that enters will be represented in the final. The team with the lowest score will be awarded a Fairways to Horsham trophy with a participation certificate presented to every child taking part.

Pupils at St Andrews School, Nuthurst were the first to see the pop-up golf course in action. Mr Nathan Golby, head teacher said, “the pop-up golf course was fantastic when we trialled it a few weeks ago. The children are so excited to take part in Fairways to Horsham. Golf has been very popular with them and it fosters a real team spirit with so much positive social interaction.”

Headline sponsor to the event is Golf Escapes and Jon Ruben, Managing Director said “As a company we are incredibly proud to support Mike and his team and this exciting competition will see Mike and his team of coaches take golf to over 1,400 primary school children in the Horsham district. With the pop-up golf course and Fairways to Horsham, many more children will now enjoy learning to play golf.”

Ian Ford of Horsham District Sports Development said, “the process of on-site qualifying events will make it easy for primary schools to take part. Mike and his team are helping build a legacy that will give young players the option of continuing to play golf long after the event has ended.”

Explaining why he chose to become an ambassador for Fairways to Horsham, Nick Dougherty said, “golf has been very good to me over my career and I am fortunate that I have many on-the-course memorable moments to be proud of. But if you really want to succeed as a golfer you have to give back far more than you take. So, when I was presented with the opportunity to become involved with Mike and his team I couldn’t resist. I know how beneficial it is to get children into golf at a young age. The attributes they gain from playing golf will carry them through every aspect of their life. I like to think that not only will we be making them better golfers, we will be making them better people too.”

If you would like to find out more about the Fairways to Horsham primary school competition (Qualifying events start from March) and how MY Golf Academy could support your organisation please contact Mike Yorke on 0333 577 2464 or email mike@my-golf-academy.co.uk

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