England Golf ambassadors Justin Rose and Charley Hull will represent Team GB in the Rio 2016 Olympics, it was announced today - amid hopes that the Games will inspire more people to take up the sport.
Rose (pictured) and Hull will be joined by in the team by Masters champion Danny Willett and Scotland’s Catriona Matthew. Willett, who was an England champion and international as an amateur, has already helped take golf to a wide audience with his triumph at Augusta.
Now, golf’s return to the Olympics for the first time in 112 years throws a global spotlight on the game and the initiatives which are driving participation, such as England Golf’s Get into golf and Golf Express campaigns.
Rose commented: “The Olympics are a fantastic opportunity to bring golf to a much wider global audience, which in turn should help to inspire people across the country to take up sports such as golf.
“Lots of young people dream of being an Olympian and a Team GB success in Rio will encourage kids all over the country go to their local club or range and start swinging a club.”
England Golf is working hard to tackle the challenges facing the game and create an even brighter future for golf. Get into golf is a national campaign to get more people golfing and playing more often. It offers great value coaching with PGA professionals at clubs and ranges nationwide. Information about beginner courses, taster lessons and special events is available at www.getintogolf.org
Golf Express promotes 9-hole golf to busy people and encourages them to play all the game in half the time. On average, a 9-hole round can be played in just two hours, which can fit into a busy lifestyle, and it offers all the health and social benefits of the full game. The golfexpress9.org website offers places to play across the country through its online directory and also features special offers
England Golf is also working to attract more women and girls to golf and has just held Women’s Golf Month to draw attention to the opportunities available. These include the successful Girls Golf Rocks programme, which is run jointly with the Golf Foundation. It encourages beginners to have fun, learn a new sport, get active and play alongside friends, with the encouragement of young ambassadors from county girls’ squads.
England Golf ambassador Charley Hull said “For golf to be included in this year’s Olympics is hugely exciting. Golf is a game for everyone and the Olympics will help to make people realise this and hopefully inspire them to give it a go. Golf is a great game to play with your friends and family – it’s very social, quite relaxing and you can burn around 600-700 calories playing a round of golf!”
Olympic dates: Justin Rose and Danny Willett will compete in the men’s 72-hole stroke play event from August 11-14, while Catriona Matthew and Charley Hull will contest the medals in the women’s competition from August 17-20.
Caption: Justin Rose is pictured at this morning's Team GB announcement