Singapore: Asian Golf Industry Federation Golf Facility Members in Singapore and Hong Kong will participate in HSBC’s initiative to drive participation in the sport.
Sentosa Golf Club in Singapore and the Hong Kong Golf Club are among hundreds of clubs that have signed up to support the HSBC Hour.
Rickie Fowler, double Open champion Padraig Harrington and European Ryder Cup Captain Darren Clarke are among those who have been enlisted to support the undertaking, held around the Open Championship, of which HSBC is a Patron.
This year, HSBC Hour will again take place at clubs across England, Scotland and Wales, offering an hour of free golf to children and their families with almost 300 golf clubs signed up so far.
Following a successful pilot scheme in the UK in 2015, the initiative has been expanded for this year’s Open at Royal Troon (July 14-17).
Part of HSBC’s ‘Anyone’s Game’ campaign, HSBC Hour again sees the bank teaming up with The Golf Foundation and Club Golf Scotland to give thousands of young people and their families an introduction to the sport during the week of The Open.
As well as getting the nation excited about golf in the week of the world’s oldest major, HSBC has expanded the initiative to offer free golf in China, Singapore, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates.
Interested golfers in Singapore can visit Sentosa Golf Club or Marina Bay at designated timeslots from July 10-17 to enjoy this unique opportunity.
The bank will also be encouraging its employees to get behind the initiative, learn the game and enjoy the world class golf on show.
World number seven Fowler is fronting up the campaign. He said: “When I was little my Dad used to provide sand from his business to the local driving range so I could practise for free. I was also very lucky to have been taught by Barry McDonnell in my early years.
“Those memories and the friendships you form through golf always stay with you; without those first steps the rest simply can’t happen. Whoever you are and wherever you come from, you need to start somewhere.”
Clarke is also backing the initiative, saying: “I was lucky to grow up in a family where we all played golf and appreciate what the game gave us in enjoyment, competition and life in general. We have to try to get the young kids out there as they are the sport’s future.”
Harrington added: “It’s very important for the future of golf to get kids involved, but it’s also good for them in many ways. When young people play the game there are so many things they learn that are useful and prepare them for everyday life.
“For example, the game is self-governing, requiring the learning of and playing by the rules. There are the joys playing the game, there are highs and lows, and there are so many of life’s emotions that you have to learn to deal with, so it’s great for young people to play the game. It’s also essential for golf to have a younger generation participating, bringing new life to the game.”
HSBC Global Head of Sponsorship & Events Giles Morgan said: “We describe golf as ‘Anyone’s Game’ because it is our fundamental belief that golf should be open to anyone. HSBC Hour is the embodiment of that commitment, giving thousands of people an opportunity to experience the game for the first time.
“The Open at Royal Troon will be the perfect motivation for thousands to take their first steps on a golf course. By offering hundreds of clubs from Sheffield to Shanghai, Glasgow to Gloucester, Durham to Dubai, an hour’s free golf or coaching between July 9 and the climax of the world’s oldest Major on July 17, we hope to do our part to introduce thousands more children to the game.
“2016 is a landmark year for the sport as golf returns to the Olympics. It’s also a once in a lifetime opportunity to inspire a whole new generation and with HSBC Hour and our grass-roots initiatives around the world, we are proud to be a part of that.”
Golf Foundation Chief Executive Brendon Pyle said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with HSBC and build on the success of last year’s event to take HSBC Hour 2016 to a whole new level.
“Golf, and the values of the sport, have the capacity to enrich the lives of those who play the game and we look to give young people, irrespective of their background or circumstances, the opportunity to benefit from this and most importantly enjoy the game.”
Scottish Golf Deputy CEO Andy Salmon added: “The Open is a special tournament and there is no better time to inspire new young golfers to take up the sport than around this historic event. HSBC Hour gives us the perfect platform to do that and hopefully establish the foundations of future Scottish success.”
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