WHEN Leeds Golf Centre launched its Up to Scratch Challenge last month, it was looking for 16 beginners to volunteer for a course of free tuition.
The UK base of the David Leadbetter Golf Academy is attempting, in association with Cobra Puma Golf, to turn golf novices into competent players in just a matter of weeks.
The offer was an attractive one, with successful applicants being promised eight weeks of free lessons from the centre’s PGA professionals and certified Leadbetter Instructors, culminating in a knockout challenge.
But even so, the centre was overwhelmed by the response that saw no fewer than 223 people apply to take up the challenge – with 30 per cent of the applicants female.
Part of the Up to Scratch Challenge’s aim is making the sport more accessible and, due to the high level of interest, Leeds Golf Centre has decided to extend the competition and launch a second challenge later this month, giving a total of 42 beginners across two groups the chance to get their golf game ready for a three-hole knockout competition.
Joe Feather, PGA Professional and Leadbetter Instructor at Leeds Golf Centre, explained: “We launched the Up to Scratch Challenge to make golf more accessible for beginners.
“The Challenge gives those who are interested in golf the opportunity to develop both confidence and technique under the tuition of our professional instructors.
“The response from beginners across Yorkshire has been staggering, showing that there is great interest in learning the sport when given the opportunity to do so.
“We’re also really passionate about getting more women playing and we’re thrilled by the level of interest expressed by females, which accounts for 30 per cent of entries.”
The technique of each participant will be refined and developed over an eight-week period.
Each participant will have two one-hour lessons a week, throughout July and August. The competition will culminate in a three-hole knockout event for each group, one in September and one in October, which will see beginners showcase their finely tuned skillsets.
If you want to follow the progress of all Up to Scratch Challenge participants, updates will be placed on the Leeds Golf Centre Facebook page (www.facebook.com/leedsgolfcentre) and its website (www.leedsgolfcentre.com).