The first year of the Sticks for Kids junior golf development scheme in China has proved to be a huge success, say organisers. Rolled out in July, the programme was initiated in 30 of China's largest cities, including Beijing and Shanghai.
Sticks for Kids was brought to China largely due to the efforts of golf construction company Forward Management Group. A member of the Golf Course Builders Association of America member, and one of the largest golf contractors in China, Forward Management Group provided funding to get the project off the ground. The scheme is organised by the GCBAA Foundation.
A total of 90 camps are being held across China in 2009 with an estimated 5,000 children participating. Plans for 2010 include establishing Sticks for Kids at an additional 30 sites.
Sticks for Kids is designed to provide golf instruction to children between six and 15. The programme gives participants the opportunity to learn golf fundamentals such as stance, gripping, pitching, chipping, putting and swinging. Participants also learn golf safety, etiquette, integrity, discipline and how to be good environmental stewards. Each hosting programme receives ten sets of clubs with bags for the children to use on site.