What is a County Golf Partnership?
County Golf Partnerships (CGP’S) are a working group formed at county level bringing together representatives from the three main golfing organisations in the county. These are the Men’s County Golf Union, the Ladies County Golf Association and the County Professional Golfers Association. This structure mirrors the framework of the England Golf Partnership (EGP) at a national level.
The Partnership is strongly supported by the Golf Foundation (GF), the English Golf Union (EGU), the English Women’s Golf Association (EWGA) and Regional Development Officers from both organisations who also sit on the Partnership in an advisory capacity. Often a representative from the local County Sports Partnership (CSP) also attends Partnership meetings together with other relevant personnel and, collectively, the aim is to deliver golf development programmes and initiatives to encourage participation, club membership and sustainability within golf in that county.
2. What are the Objectives of BCGP?
The Bedfordshire County Golf Partnership (BCGP) was set up in January 2009 to introduce more people to golf and help grow the game within the county.
We have nine major objectives of which the key ones are:
a. To promote the game of golf and increase people’s awareness.
b. To introduce more people to golf irrespective of age, gender or background.
c. To provide opportunity for people to regularly participate in golf.
d. To develop opportunities for people to join golf clubs.
For full details of our objectives please click here
3. How is BCGP Funded?
BCGP is currently funded by grants from the England Golf Partnership (EGU, EWGA and PGA supported by Sport England and the Golf Foundation). However for the Partnership to be sustainable in the medium to long term it is important that other sources of external funding are investigated (and secured). These could potentially come from local sponsorship, external organisations and contributions from the three partner organisations.
The County Sports Partnership (team BEDS&LUTON) can also potentially support the Partnership to deliver by linking BCGP objectives with their own initiatives such as “Get Back Into”, “Sport Unlimited” and “Workforce Development”.
The funding from the England Golf Partnership is dependent of the approval of our Three Year Development Plan and satisfactory progress on the objectives contained therein.
Any commercial organisation that may be interested in providing sponsorship or funding should contact one of the Partnership Officers.
4. Who Else Supports the BCGP?
Support and guidance is also provided by the relevant EGU/EWGA and Golf Foundation Regional Development Officers (RDO’s). In the case of Bedfordshire, the personnel involved are Steven Peet (EGU/EWGA RDO), based in Norfolk, and Katie Cooper (GF), based in Luton, whose areas cover the seven counties in the East of England (Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire & Huntingdonshore, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Middlesex).
As well as providing the link with the EGU/EWGA, Golf Foundation and EGP, Steven and Katie will, also play a substantial role in the preparation, submission and on-going appraisals of our Development Plan which is critical for any future funding from The England Golf Partnership.
At some stage in the future BCGP may also appoint its own County Development Officer (CDO) whose role will be to work with golf clubs and organisations on a local level to assist their specific needs and offer support and guidance.
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5. What Other Roles Do the RDOs Fulfil?
They can fulfil a multitude of roles but the main ones relate to assisting clubs with such as Grant and Funding advice / applications, assisting with GolfMark accreditation (see Q8. below) and sharing examples of best practice developed by clubs, other Partnerships and any other relevant partners.
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6. How will the BCGP look to increase the number of young people playing golf?
With support from our partners, the Golf Foundation and team BEDS&LUTON, we will be encouraging golf within schools and local community groups. Advice will also be available to clubs on offering Junior coaching programmes and how / where to attend “taster opportunities” for juniors to have a go at golf. Clubs will also be encouraged to form official links with local schools, colleges and universities.
7. How will the BCGP look to increase the number of
women and girls, 18-50 year olds and families playing golf?
Through a combination of best practice, BCGP will advise clubs on ideas / ways of attracting these priority groups into golf and into golf club membership. BCGP can also, with their partners, co-ordinate County wide projects involving such as “taster sessions” and junior training days to help progress this.
8. What is GolfMark and how do clubs become accredited for GolfMark?
GolfMark is a national scheme developed by EGU/EWGA that identifies and recognises junior and beginner friendly golf clubs. Golf Mark provides many benefits for clubs, parents and golfers alike such as:
• Recognition within the local community for the club’s commitment to junior golf.
• Promotion via the EGU/EWGA websites.
• An opportunity to review and improve existing procedures together with assistance, input, support and guidance from an EGU/EWGA Regional Development Officer through funding workshops, sharing best practice, reviewing current policies and writing child welfare documentation.
• Well coached, committed and educated juniors who may become adult members of the future.
• A safer and more enjoyable environment for junior golf to flourish including a focussed plan for the development of the club’s junior section.
• Greater understanding about junior activities within the golf club by adult members.
• Ease of identifying junior friendly clubs and assisting parents, especially those who do not currently play golf, in selecting an appropriate club for their child.
• Provision of a safe and organised environment for children coupled with reassurance that their needs have been thoroughly considered and addressed from all angles.
• Increased funding opportunities when compared to non-GolfMark’d clubs.
To initiate the accreditation process clubs should register via the GolfMark website and complete the on-line self assessment.
This will trigger contact from the EGU/EWGA Regional Development Officer who will then arrange a meeting with the club to discuss the whole GolfMark process. The RDO will continue to provide support, guidance and best practice examples enabling the club to meet all the required standards. Clubs are assessed on areas surrounding Coaching & Playing, Club Environment and Child Protection and Duty of Care. Upon achievement of GolfMark accreditation, clubs will also be accredited with Sport England’s ClubMark.
Further information and case studies can be found here
9. What does BCGP mean for golf professionals?
Through the Development Plan and other initiatives, all golf clubs with PGA affiliated professionals will be able to access direct investment from the English Golf Partnership for initiatives that include junior coaching grants, coaching grants for beginner sessions etc
10. Where do I find out more about BCGP and
Who Do I Contact for Help or Advice?
Here on our website. The contact details of all the members of the management committee and our partner organisations can be found here. If there is anything you think we should add to the website please do not hesitate to let us know. Click here to contact us.