Tee-time for youngsters

Invercargill siblings Poppy (8), Cooper (10) and Hugo (4) McDowall try golf at the Futures Southland programme at the Queens Park golf course in Invercargill on Sunday.
Invercargill Max Owen-Rolton was prepared with his gear to have a fun day of golf.

AS the Covid-19 pandemic continues to change the way people live, golf has become a popular sport for people throughout the region.

Golf Southland launched its Futures Southland programme at the Queens Park golf course in Invercargill on Sunday, aimed at bringing more awareness and promotion of the sport to younger generations.

About 70 children enjoyed the day to learn new skills and tips about the sport.

Golf Southland development officer Simon Boland said the goal was to create lifetime golfers by providing opportunities to learn and play for all young people across the region.

He said golf was increasing in popularity throughout the country and one of the reasons was the Covid-19 pandemic as it was an outdoor sport where it was easy for people to social distance.

‘‘It is a sport where all the family can play. It doesn’t matter the age or shape, kids and parents can play together.’’

Invercargill woman Melissa McDowall took their three children — Cooper, Poppy and Hugo to have a go.

Not even a broken arm stopped Hugo, the youngest one, from having fun, she said.

‘‘We just moved next to a golf course and Cooper likes to play mini golf.

‘‘We thought it was a great opportunity for everybody to have a try. We would love the three of them to start lessons as it was something for them to do together and outdoors.’’

Invercargill boy Max Owen-Rolton (11) was already a member of the club.

He was happy with the big turnout at the event as he believed it was more fun to play with more children around.

‘‘But my favourite part is the golf cart,’’ he said.

The Futures Southland was a joint initiative from golf clubs across the region to combine resources and provide more affordable opportunities for young people to learn and play the

Three hubs have been established in Invercargill, Winton and Gore with the aim to promote events and tournaments for children aged 5 to 18 years old.