The Golf Foundation is delighted to announce that PGA Chief Executive Sandy Jones has accepted the golf charity’s invitation to become its next President, assuming the role in April, 2016.
Sandy Jones will succeed Colin Montgomerie as President of the nationally recognised golf charity which makes golf and its benefits available to young people, and helps them to ‘Start, Learn and Stay’ in the sport.
Since 2011, the Golf Foundation’s ‘HSBC Golf Roots’ programme has given a first introduction to golf to more than 2.5 million young people across the United Kingdom. Higher numbers of club junior members are being created each year through this strategy, which at all times aims to offer children the ‘Skills for Life’ benefits associated with the game. It is hoped that Sandy Jones’s influence will help the charity maintain this positive momentum at club and community level to reach ambitious targets from now to 2018.
The R&A is a long-term core funder of the Golf Foundation and this year will contribute £400,000 in support of its efforts to encourage young people to take up golf.
Charles Harrison, Chairman of the Golf Foundation, said: “The Golf Foundation’s Trustees all believe that Sandy Jones will make an excellent President of our charity, following in the great footsteps of Colin Montgomerie, and before him, Ken Schofield and Bernard Gallacher.
“Sandy is one of the best connected and most respected figures in all of golf, and we are delighted he will be our new President.”
Charles added: “Sandy’s unrivalled experience and knowledge of all stages of golf development will be of great help in further developing our close relationships with PGA Professionals as we work together to grow junior membership and retention levels in our golf clubs.”
Sandy Jones said: “I was thrilled to be asked to take on this role and I’m aware that I’m following some really great names as President in recent times. This charity is all about helping the next generation of young players, so if I can help the Golf Foundation team through my experience in the game I’ll be delighted.”
Sandy added: “I’ve worked for the PGA for 37 years but I may never have started my career in golf administration had I not been asked to help run my home club’s junior section when I was in my twenties. That was my actual starting point.
“My Mother showed me how to play golf in the garden when I was six; I became a junior member of Mount Ellen Golf Club, Glasgow, at the age of 12. These are vivid memories and I never forget what it is like to be a junior member starting out in the game, needing the support of adults at the golf club.
Colin Montgomerie has served the Golf Foundation as President for five years in a period of successful growth for the charity. In this time, he has publicly championed HSBC Golf Roots, which introduces golf to young people of all backgrounds and abilities in schools and communities. It creates a pathway to playing regular golf at the golf club or driving range, utilising the PGA-endorsed Junior Golf Passport learning programme.
Last year, 3,600 new junior club members were created in England following their involvement in an HSBC Golf Roots project. Outside of England, the Foundation has also been a major supporter and contributor to ClubGolf in Scotland, and the grassroots development programmes in Wales.
Among the Golf Foundation aims are to encourage 50,000 youngsters through the gates of a golf club in 2018, ultimately creating 10,000 new regular players and 5,000 affiliated junior members.
Brendon Pyle, Chief Executive of the Golf Foundation, said: “Colin Montgomerie has been an inspirational President for the Golf Foundation as this charity has sought to raise itself to a higher level in terms of enriching the lives of young people through golf.
“We look forward to thanking him formally, and wishing him well for the future, when it is time for Colin to hand over the reins to Sandy at our AGM in April.”