Golf Canada is proud to announce that The R&A has become a supporting partner in Future Links, driven by Acura, Canada’s national junior golf program.
The decision to align with Canada’s national junior golf program was led by The R&A’s Golf Development Committee, a group that assesses applications and requests from the 152 worldwide affiliates of The R&A, including Golf Canada, and whose mandate is to support what is good for golf.
For Golf Canada Chief Sport Officer and interim CEO Jeff Thompson, welcoming The R&A as a supporting partner in Canadian junior golf is a natural extension of a strong working relationship that exists between the two organizations.
“We are tremendously proud to have The R&A as a partner in the Future Links program,” said Thompson. “We share a common vision to engage more youth in golf and believe the strength of our junior golf curriculum and depth of the overall Future Links program are well aligned with The R&A’s goal for golf development.”
“We thought this was a good program and one that was worthy of our support,” explained Duncan Weir, Executive Director – Golf Development at The R&A, who see a possibility
for the model to be replicated in other countries. “Links are strong, dialogue is strong, Golf Canada has a strong track record and I’d like to think we have a decent track record of supporting Golf Canada’s good efforts. So this was really a continuation of that relationship and something that impressed us.”
Future Links, driven by Acura, is a joint grassroots initiative of Golf Canada, the PGA of Canada and the provincial golf associations which offer a full suite of junior golf programs for boys and girls ages 6 to 18—from beginners to those with more experience or greater playing ability.
Future Links, driven by Acura includes a comprehensive suite of junior golf activities for children of all ages and skill level. The program has been restructured under three core areas of focus—in-school programming, facility programming and community outreach.
Elements under the Future Links junior golf umbrella include Learn to Play, Junior League, Girl’s Club, Mobile Clinics, Junior Skills Competition, and Community Golf Coach, along with six regional Future Links Junior Championships.
Beginning in 2017, Golf Canada has also integrated the popular Golf in Schools program under the Future Links suite of junior golf activities. With more than 400,000 children currently learning golf at nearly 3,400 schools (elementary, intermediate and high schools) as part of the Canadian Physical Education curriculum, Future Links, driven by Acura is supporting quality junior golf experiences from in-schools to on-course at clubs across Canada.
Under the leadership of PGA of Canada golf professionals, Future Links driven by Acura programs help young golfers develop the technical skills, appropriate attitude and self-confidence to succeed on the golf course, while instilling positive life lessons to succeed off the course.
“On behalf of the PGA of Canada and our 3,700 members from around the country, I’d like to welcome and commend The R&A for supporting Canada’s junior golf program—Future Links,” said PGA of Canada CEO Gary Bernard. “With this new partnership, Future Links will only become stronger and continue to be a world-class junior golf program”
In 2016, 85,000 junior golfers participated in one or more elements of Future Links, including 60,000 juniors who took part in more than 750 Future Links Mobile Clinics across the country.
Future Links, driven by Acura junior golf programming is fully aligned with the Canadian golf Long-Term Player Development Guide. Developed by Golf Canada in partnership with the PGA of Canada, LTPD provides an age- and stage-based blueprint for golfer development rooted on research, statistics and expert insight.
Since launching in 1996, Canada’s national junior golf program has introduced golf to more than 1.3 million children, providing junior golfers across Canada with affordable and accessible golf activities in their community. More information is available at golfcanada.ca/futurelinks