I argue that in the slipstream of the IOC having decided to reinstate golf for the Olympics, the Dutch government has to take a strong lead in harnessing golf for social good. Only a nationwide strategy to harness the potential of golf for social good will be most effective. Such a strategy should focus on supporting people from five years old right through to pensioners to get into golf, in a bid also to create a more active nation.
Investments need to be targeted at golf projects and those initiatives, which have a “meaningful, measurable impact” on how they are improving people’s lives – from helping young people to gain skills to get into the golf, to tackling social inclusion and improving physical and mental health.
The Dutch government needs to be much bolder in harnessing the potential of golf for social good. In delivering a strategy, it is not merely about how many people take part in golf, but rather how golf can have a meaningful and measurable impact on improving people’s lives.
At the elite end of golf, the government should support golfers with elite sports ambitions with funding.
It is without any doubt, that golf has an incredible power to do social good and that is what any strategy should be all about. Golf has all the potential to show that it can have a positive impact on people’s lives, bring communities together while ensuring to make a significant contribution to the economy too.
It is time for the Dutch government to take up the challenge.
Written by: Jon Standing, Founder Indoor Golf Arena