The clinics, conducted by Sir Nick Faldo’s coach Keith Wood and a number of local professionals, including Anastasia Kostina, were designed to give the group of young Russians their first taste of golf and were similar to a series of other grass roots activities taking place at many of this year’s Faldo Series events, both in Europe and Asia.
By the middle of March next year, when the Faldo Series Asia concludes with its Grand Final at Mission Hills, China, as many as 5,000 youngsters will have attended a Faldo Series Championship and will have been introduced to the rudiments of the game.
In addition to the clinics in Moscow, a group of local youngsters from the Model Primary School, Enniskillen, enjoyed a clinic supervised by Lough Erne Director of Golf, Lynn McCool, at the Faldo Series Ireland Championship at the Lough Erne Resort, County Fermanagh.
Similar sessions are to be arranged at the forthcoming Faldo Series Europe Championships in the Netherlands, Germany, Greece, Poland and Slovakia.
Each year in Asia, large numbers of children from the local communities also enjoy free coaching and other grass-roots activities at Faldo Series Asia tournaments in several countries, including China, India, Malaysia, Japan, Chinese Taipei, Indonesia and Thailand.
A number of the events in Europe are supported by the Ryder Cup European Development Trust and other local benefactors and are part of the Faldo Series’ goal to attract youngsters of all ages, backgrounds and nationalities into the game.
“Back in 1996, when we established the Faldo Series, the goal was to nurture new generations of young champions,” said Faldo, a six-time Major winner.
“And that has proved very successful with graduates like Rory McIlroy, Nick Dougherty, Marc Warren, Yani Tseng, Melissa Reid and, most recently, Florentyna Parker all going on to win at Tour level.
“However, we did not just want to provide a platform for the elite youngsters, but also to broaden it out and attract other children who, in many instances, might not even have played golf before.
“It’s difficult to be exact, but I would estimate that since 1996 around 10,000 children from all sorts of backgrounds have taken part in our clinics and other grass-roots activities and, with the help of our partners, that number continues to grow all the time.”