A local golf centre is introducing a large number of local children to the game of golf, and is making certain it reaches out to youngsters from all walks of life.

Addington Court Golf Centre in Croydon has had a very strong Junior section for several years, coaching them at its specialist Crown Golf Academy.

The club has worked for the past year with the St Andrews School Sport Partnership (SSP) – a group of 41 Croydon schools, both primary and secondary.

From this September, the pioneering golf centre has increased the number of children it is coaching by working with a further two SSPs – Woodcote and Lanfranc - meaning that over 750 children from 36 different schools are being taught on a regular basis by the highly qualified golf coaches from the golf centre.

On top of this work with local children, Addington Court GC’s Academy coaches are also taking part in the “City Roots Golf” project in the borough of Croydon.

"This is a government-led scheme which enables inner city children, who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to try out various sports, to have a go at (in this case) golf.

Once a week, 180 children from six schools are bussed to Addington Court, where they have hour-long sessions with the PGA Professionals.

If they enjoy the sport and find they have an aptitude for it, there is the opportunity for them to attend free weekend taster sessions once a month at Addington Court GC, which leads onto a coaching structure through the Golf Foundations Junior Golf Passport.

Director of Golf Paul Oliver, said: “We are really delighted to be able to spend so much time coaching so many local children – and all from very different backgrounds.

“We have had a number of real success stories over the past year or so, with our current Junior Champion having started to play golf through the St Andrews SSP coaching.

"We also have a further 35 regular golf players at the Academy who first discovered golf through the SSP sessions.

“I am hoping that the children we meet through the City Roots Golf lessons will also find that they love the sport once they try it out.

"There is nothing more fulfilling for a golf professional to watch a player develop from having had no experience at the sport, to playing to competition standard.”

Clint Whittaker, General Manager of Addington Court Golf Centre said: “The work that the Academy coaches, under Paul Oliver’s expert leadership, are doing both with the SSP children and the City Roots Golf is second to none in the area.

“They have laid on free coaching sessions, so that if they enjoy the sessions at school, children can learn to play golf in their own time as well as at school.

"And they have also set up competitions, so for example, next term, after qualifiers, the ten best SSP pupils will compete in the SSP Festival, and if they do well, will go on to take part in the Borough Festival of Golf.”