Advice on junior coaching for small groups in England
Following the announcement of the government allowing golf clubs to open from 29th March, and coaches in England to resume group coaching, the Golf Foundation has produced updated advice for clubs and PGA Professional coaches in England to help promote a safe return for juniors. The guidance states that outdoor organised coaching is permitted for juniors of any group size and will not be subject to the gatherings limits, while following the Health and Safety guidelines developed in response to Covid-19:
England Golf has updated its ‘Play Safe, Stay Safe’ framework along with a timeline of golf’s return to play protocols aligned to the proposed government roadmap over the coming months.
In Scotland, outdoor coaching is restricted to 2 people (including the coach) for those who are 12 years or over. Any child under 12 does not count towards the number, so a coach can take larger groups of up to 30 under 12s. Please visit Scottish Golf for the latest developments.
Golf courses re-opened in Wales on March 13. Outdoor coaching can resume with up to four people from two households, inclusive of the coach (children under 11 and carers do not count towards this limit). Organised children’s activities outdoors may be able to restart from 27th March (date of next review).Please visit Wales Golf for the latest developments.
Although there is no limit to the number of juniors in an organised outdoor coaching session from 29th March (in England), the Golf Foundation believes coaches should consider the following Health and Safety guidelines developed in response to Covid-19:
- A standard layout of games and activities (see recommendations below) can be set out on the driving range or practice range ahead of any group coaching sessions with a clear single direction of travel from entry to exit;
- The PGA Coach can stand at one end of the practice area or behind a line of red marker cones to ensure that the minimum 2 metre social distancing is followed;
- Individual children can bring their own equipment (or equipment can be provided by the PGA Coach on condition that it is cleaned with sanitising wipes after each family session);
- Children should work individually on a separate tee for each game to ensure social distancing;
- Participants do not need to touch golf balls or any of the marker cones used in the games
- The driving range ball washer should have soap in the machine;
- The ball dispenser surfaces must be cleaned frequently;
- If using a practice ground or similar, a 2 metre exclusion zone should be created around the lesson tee/golfer so that no one enters;
- If the PGA Coach has to move a player into position, an alignment stick can be used, which is easy to wipe down with sanitising wipes before and after the lesson;
- The PGA Coach should wash hands with soap and water before and after the session;
- Sanitising wipes should be provided and used by the PGA Coach and golfers
The Golf Foundation has provided ideas from our learning programme the ‘Junior Golf Passport’ to set up activities and skills challenges that only involve the player hitting the ball and minimising the need to touch any other equipment. Where the activity is chipping and/or putting, participants should be encouraged to use their own golf balls.
Example Game ideas
See the Junior Golf Passport cards below which can be adapted according to the guidance above i.e. focus on players working individually on each tee or challenge rather than in pairs. Use the Skills Test section on each game to provide scoring and challenges throughout the session.
Putting Green/Short Game area
Game 1 – Putting – Bullseye
Game 2 – Chipping – Limbo Run & Limbo Lob
Driving Range/Practice Ground
Game 3 – Pitching – Pitch Perfect
Game 4 – Full Swing – Champions League – play individually and set a different challenge for each league, with players having a go in each league.