American Golf and former number one, Major champion and Olympic Gold medal winner, Justin Rose MBE, have joined forces to unveil a new world-class golf academy as they embark on a mission to get more people into golf by connecting five million people with the sport for the first time.
The new Justin Rose Academy, powered by American Golf, is part of American Golf’s drive to make golf accessible to all, irrespective of age, gender social background and ability.
Led by a team of highly trained PGA Professional Coaches and working with golfers of all levels, from complete beginners to seasoned Professionals, the Academy will operate from American Golf’s leisure sites, including its flagship Golf Kingdom Leisure Park in Essex, Cheshire’s High Legh Park Golf Club, Rossendale Family Golf Complex in Lancashire, Hemingford Abbots Golf Complex in Cambridgeshire, Wythall Driving Range in Birmingham and Bexley’s Barnehurst Golf Club.
The Academy will have a firm focus on community engagement, taking the sport off the golf course and into new territories via social media and influencer activities, events and a dedicated schools programme that will introduce children to the wide-ranging physical and mental health benefits of golf. In its first five years, the Academy aims to bring 18,000 young people onto the Justin Rose junior programme, with more than 5,000 free lessons for school children given away during the first year.
So proud to announce today that Kate & I have launched the Justin Rose academy powered by @americangolf_UK Stand by for an academy coming near you soon.— Justin ROSE (@JustinRose99) May 5, 2022
Alongside the academies we will also be giving away 5000 free lessons and taking golf into schools across the UK. pic.twitter.com/NYEtmj4i9H
Justin Rose MBE said: “It’s an extremely exciting time for the golf. Not only is participation up, but the average age of players has decreased by five years to 41, plus 400,000 women have taken up golf for the first time since 2020.
“Encouraging young people to play golf will protect the future of the sport and schools are a crucial part of our outreach. It’s our vision to have golf on the P.E. curriculum. The Academy will enable more people to benefit from the social and health benefits of golf, as well as us uncovering future champions.
“Linking with American Golf to launch the Academy makes complete sense given its vast network of golf ranges and stores across the UK.”
Gary Favell, CEO of American Golf, said: “This is a landmark day for golf in the UK. Justin is an extraordinary player and a hugely inspirational ambassador for the sport. Our Justin Rose Academy has huge ambitions to accelerate golf participation, while changing the perception of the sport for good and making sure it’s accessible to all.”
Attracting more minority groups into the game is a key focus for Kate Rose, Justin’s wife and founder of the women’s golfing event, Rose Ladies Series, who’s also leading the charge in her role as Inclusivity Ambassador at the Academy, ensuring every minority group is able to participate in the sport.
Gary continues: “The Justin Rose Academy is for everyone, from beginners to aspiring tournament professionals, our aim is to inspire, educate and show people the real joy that comes from golf – whether that be a round with friends, a trip to the driving range or participation in a school tournament.”
Attending the launch was three up and coming young golfers who are destined for great things Ria Prabhakar (12), Alexandra Thomas (7) and Bobby Thomas (4). Some highlights of their golfing journeys are listed below.
Ria Prabhakar – age 12
- Ria played her first Wee Wonders British Championships qualifier at Ingrebourne Links when she was 6, and there began her annual journey to Scotland for the Wee Wonders British Championship Finals which she qualified for the next 6 years.
- She won the British Kids Championship at Celtic Manor in 2017, when she was 8 and Fin the same year came 3rd in Wee Wonders Grand Finals at St Andrews.
- In 2020, Ria qualified for the 2021 IMG Academy Junior World Championships
- November 2021 she played her First Junior European Open which was in Spain. A tournament for U18 Junior golfers.
- In September 2021 she was selected for the East England Regional Winter Training Programme which is a pathway to make the full England squad with the next two years if successful.
- She has recently played in the under 16 Midland Golf Union Amateur Stroke Play Championship which was recommended by England Golf and finished in 16th position out of 36 players
- R&A Girls U16 Amateur Championship which she qualified for due to her handicap of 1.5 at just 12 years old. She was one of three 12 yr olds in this international field of 90, where she finished in a respectable 54th position.
Bobby – age 4
- Bobby Thomas developed a love for golf at the early age of 2.
- Now at 4 years old Bobby enjoys regular trips to the driving range with his Dad and sister sometimes up to four times a week. Bobby has developed a great swing and a drive that people stop to comment on.
- He loves golf and when not at the range, he loves to get the putting mat out at home to keep practicing.
- Bobby’s favourite thing to do is to play the go fish game on the top tracer machines and loves to hit a big shot so he catches a new fish.
- Bobby can’t wait to officially join the academy when he turns 5 in 4 months’ time.
- View his Instagram here … https://www.instagram.com/bobby_thegolfboy/
Alexandra – age 7
- Alexandra Thomas joined the golf academy when she was five years old and has been having group lessons ever since.
- Now seven years old Alexandra has developed into a confident and competent golfer, she is a good driver of ball with the ability to drive the ball over 100 yards.
- She loves the variety of the lessons every week and works hard on her chipping and putting.
- She is fiercely competitive and loves it when the group go to the crazy golf course and have a match.
- Alexandra is excited to continue learning and developing her golf game with her coach and the academy.
- View her Instagram here … https://www.instagram.com/alexandra_thegolfgirl/
For more information visit www.justinrosegolfacademy.co.uk. Members of the public and schools can sign up for free ‘Get into Golf’ sessions as well as book for group lessons, including ladies, children and family group sessions.