It has been realized by all the major golfing bodies that there is a big demand for golf in schools. Golf is seen to be cool by kids and parents appreciate the values that golf espouses. There are some 29 000 schools in South Africa and 700 qualified PGA members. In addition to the fact that golf pros cannot cover all of these schools, many of the schools are in outlying areas that do not have pros.
The Department of Sport and Education has announced that it has now come to its senses and recognized the importance of a Physical Education curriculum in schools and is urging schools to implement one. SASCOC has established the National Coaching Framework that recognizes the importance of sports coaching at a schools level. The NCF espouses LTPD (Long Term Participant Development) and LTCD (Long Term Coach Development)
The PGA has long advocated the Long Term Athlete Development Model and created a manual, a course and a training kit and made it part of its Grow Golf course. The LTAD coaching method lends itself to being taught on school fields. For the younger children, at least, a golf driving range/golf club is not necessary.
School teachers are ideally placed to introduce children to golf. It is imperative that they be given the rudiments of golf coaching for kids.
The PGA has run many Grow Golf courses and as well received as the courses were it is apparent that the graduates need some follow up and a sense of belonging if they are to successfully apply what they learned and to remain in golf coaching.
There are many experienced coaches working in townships and outlying areas who receive no recognition and the status of being a member of the GGCA will go a way to fulfilling that.
The SAGA is recognizing the demand and the need to grow golf at a junior level. Accordingly it has decided to grow what was formerly a volunteer run organization, The SA junior Golf Foundation, appointed a full time staff person.
The SAGA recognizes the importance of league golf in schools as part of this growth process.
The SAGA recognizes that producing good golfers is a long term process.
The SAGA would be able to work with the GGCASA by using area Union representatives to assist/oversee the coaches. The Grow Golf Coaches would form the backbone of the schools league that the SAGA is getting under way. Reciprocally teachers already involved in the schools league would be encouraged to do the coaching course and join the association.
Grow Golf Coaches can be read in 3 ways according to how you say it:
"Grow Golf Coaches Association" says that this is an organization of coaches who have the aim of growing golf.
"Grow Golf (pause) Coaches" with the emphasis on Grow Golf is an exhortation to coaches to go out and grow the game of golf.
"Grow (pause) Golf Coaches" with the emphasis on "Golf Coaches" says that this is an organization that assists in growing both the numbers and the capacity of golf coaches.
These 3 interpretations encapsulate what the association is about: it has the aim of growing golf, it exhorts them to go out and do so, it is growing bigger and encourages its coaches to grow themselves.