‘BEEF’ BECOMES GOLF FOUNDATION AMBASSADOR
Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston has been signed up as the first of a series of new ambassadors for the Golf Foundation to help promote this charity’s ‘Golf for All’ philosophy, which encourages young people of all abilities to enjoy all the benefits of golf.
Beef is to put his name and positive personality behind the Golf Foundation’s national HSBC Golf Roots initiative that reaches 500,000 boys and girls in schools, communities and golf clubs each year, encouraging young people to ‘Start, Learn and Stay’ in the sport. For 2018, the Foundation is asking a select group of leading players to represent the work and the values of this charity.
Johnston was welcomed by the Golf Foundation team in the spectator village at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth on Thursday, and shook hands on his appointment as official ambassador. His first task was to take part in a ‘Tri-Golf’ session with a visiting group of youngsters from St Margaret’s School, Bracknell, to mark the launch of new, improved Tri-Golf equipment which will be used in nearly 3,000 schools in the year ahead.
Playing with and against boys and girls from the school, Johnston played quick-fire Tri-Golf games such as ‘Drive for Show, Putt for Dough’, ‘Beat-the-Clock’ and ‘The Race to The Pie’, much to the enjoyment of all present, before answering questions from the youngsters. These included how he started in golf as a nine year-old, his hopes for the season, his best win (Spanish Open), his beloved Arsenal FC and more.
When asked about why golf was a good sport, Johnston said: “Golf gives you a challenge every day and asks questions of you all the time. You can play golf with everyone, family and friends together; it’s a healthy outdoor sport which teaches you about life and it should always be great fun!”
Johnston has already been supportive of the Golf Foundation during the Open Championship at Royal Troon in 2016, where he gave kids who were brand new to golf a fantastic session of Tri-Golf in the R&A Swing Zone.
Brendon Pyle, chief executive of the Golf Foundation, said: “Beef’s excellent play on the golf course is exciting but, of course, it is also the way he plays the game which the Golf Foundation team loves. Through Skills for Life we value above all else making the game fun and welcoming for youngsters, while focus, resilience, sportsmanship, respect, and greeting others with a smile are attributes we are hugely keen to promote.”
The Foundation seeks to connect 50,000 kids to a playing experience at a golf club every year and is looking to create 15,000 regular golfers annually and 5,000 members. And it’s far from being just about the numbers; the Golf Foundation website has a growing base of case-studies which shows how local community projects and young golfers have benefited through golf.