Golf Fore, Football Nil

At the start of the week it looked like it could be a bad time for golf. The prestigious Inchmarlo Golf Resort, in Aberdeenshire, announced it has been placed in provisional liquidation and a Sunday Mail investigation revealed up to 75 of Scotland’s 597 courses are in danger of going the same way.

Did these struggles in the home of golf signal the death of our game?

Well it seems rumours of golf’s demise had been greatly exaggerated. It looks like the future is in rude health as efforts to encourage a new generation to ply our game are coming to fruition. Firstly according to the recent England Golf survey of its affiliated clubs nearly two-thirds of all English golf clubs have links with local schools. But perhaps more impressively the junior golf charity, the Golf Foundation, has revealed it’s 2013 ‘HSBC Golf Roots’ programme in schools has been selected by 39 out of 46 county local organising committees (LOCs) for the current academic year for English schools’ games’ curriculums. To put that in perspective that makes it the second most popular sport in schools, behind athletics, but ahead of all other sports, including football, netball and cricket.

Let’s say that again, golf is now played at schools so much that it is on more English schools’ curriculums than football. Golf more popular than footy, kickball, soccer the world’s most popular sport. If that’s not enough to make you feel confident about the future of golf nothing will.