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SURREY SUCCESS WITH GOLFMIX (Beginner Project) (21st Jun 11 at 12:32pm UTC)
Hundreds of people have taken up golf or returned to playing the game since the Surrey Golf Partnership launched their hugely successful GolfMIX project last year.

The initiative is aimed at those aged 16-plus and uses a roadshow, social networking and business contacts to help spread the word. Since it started, 2113 people have given golf a go at sessions at two World of Golf centres, three Crown Golf academies and two other golf clubs in Surrey.

County development officer Richard Shaw said: “GolfMIX is one of the biggest 16-plus projects in the country. We would like to encourage other clubs to use GolfMIX as a blueprint.”

The core of the scheme is the offer of free lessons and the loan of a 7-iron and putter to teach fundamentals and swing basics in a fun, group environment.

The SGP team have been reaching out to non-golfers by taking their roadshow to sports venues, county shows, charity events, colleges and universities. It includes a practice net and clubs and the events team give demonstrations, skills challenges and teach those who want to try golf themselves.

Surrey Golf Partnership have also used the social networking media Twitter to search for users interested in sport and asking them to re-tweet the message: “Anyone want free golf lessons? For anyone just starting these lessons are perfect for you.”

They have also had the support of all the councils in Surrey who regularly re-tweet their messages. Reigate and Banstead council have also brought 18 of their staff to a GolfMIX session, while the Royal Borough of Kingston-upon-Thames took 75 employees to World of Golf in New Malden.
GolfMIX continues to expand. The next step is to target business leaders and draw them into golf networking events, and then to introduce the scheme to their workforces.

Statistics from World of Golf Centres show that GolfMIX has reached people from a wide range of backgrounds with slightly more from the over-35 age group. The initiative is on the right track and looks set to continue to grow.

NOTES FOR EDITORS: GolfMix is currently offering its free lessons scheme at the two World of Golf centres at New Malden and Merton (see www.worldofgolf.co.uk) and 6 other participating clubs in Surrey.

For further information please call Deanne Tager-Smith, Communications Officer, Surrey Golf Partnership on 0776 996 5813 or email Richard Shaw at Richard@surreygolf.org.
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