A NEW generation of golfers are expected to hit Ogbourne Downs’ fairways following the club’s participation in the Pathway to Play scheme recently.

The scheme is aimed at encouraging golfing virgins to take up the sport after numerous free lessons were handed out to beginners earlier this month.

Ogbourne’s general manager John Edwards hopes the Pathway to Play leads to some fresh faces at the club.

“The Pathway to Play scheme is off the back of national golf month in May,” explained Edwards. “We’ve done some free coaching for juniors, adults, seniors and ladies. We are trying to hit all the audiences we can.

“It’s given everybody who has taken part a first opportunity to play the game. It starts with the free lessons and then moves onto short courses and then towards gaining a handicap and playing in competitions.The adult session was fully subscribed and we hope that the majority of those who took part in the taster sessions now progress to stage two of the Pathway to Play.

“We were pleased with the response and we will look to run more taster sessions in the future.”

Edwards also revealed how Ogbourne, like many other golf clubs around the country, have had to relax some of their rules in order to make the sport more appealing to newcomers.

“Golf has changed massively over the years,” added Edwards. “You cannot stand still really as a golf club. We have relaxed some of our rules and we have had to be more competitive price wise too.

“There are still standards to be met but now golf is no longer the elitist sport it once was and everybody is welcome now.

“We make golf more affordable thanks to things like our flexi-play membership where you only pay when you play.

“We’ve relaxed the dress code too. After 6.30pm you used to have to wear a jacket and tie but now we allow smart jeans and trainers.

“Mobile phones used to be barred from the clubhouse but now we allow them so long as they are on silent.”