Golf Zone: Lessons a Big Hit with Youngsters

Article excerpt

ENCOURAGE a "tiger. . . shark . . . bear" this summer with Birmingham's Junior Golf Academy

Tigers, sharks and bears were once confined to animal story books - but now you'll find them on golf courses preying on birdies, eagles and even an albatrosss.

Jack Nicklaus was probably the first worldwide golfing superstar to be affectionately labelled "The Bear". Then came the great Aussie Greg Norman as "The Shark", and now we have a new golf superstar in "Tiger" Woods.

These "animals" have stimulated massive worldwide interest in the game of golf through recent years and have given golfers somebody to aspire to.

Youngsters throughout the world now have a new role model in Tiger Woods, who at the age of 23 has taken golf by storm in a way not seen since Jack Nicklaus.

Peter Howard, golf manager for Birmingham's eight public courses, says: "Interest in the game has definitely increased since Tiger's arrival on the scene a couple of years ago.

More appealing

"We are getting an increasing number of phone calls from parents asking how their children can learn to play golf and become golf's next superstar.

"With the number of golfing millionaires increasing year by year, golf is becoming more and more appealing - especially to parents!

To satisfy the increased demand for junior lessons, Leisure Point, in conjunction with The Golf Foundation, is organising a series of junior golf lessons throughout the summer holidays at all eight of its golf courses.

The programme is part of the Birmingham's Golf Teaching Academy which has been developed to encourage young people into golf.

"We have identified a need to introduce youngsters to golf. We want to give youngsters a taste of the game in the hope that they will be encouraged to take it up permanently," said Mark Hampton, golf pro at Hatchford Brook.

Junior lessons are organised on all eight municipal golf courses. …