'Kids Go Free' scheme a great success at Carnoustie
Everyone in attendance at this year's 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie last month was treated to a special week of golf, as Francesco Molinari held his nerve down the back nine on Sunday to claim his first Major.
And the tournament was made even more special for the young golf fans who got to watch their heroes in action for the first time.
The R&A welcomed under-16s into the Championship for free when accompanied by a paying adult as part of their 'Kids go Free' initiative.
It is a scheme that has been applauded by junior golf charity The Golf Foundation, who are working in partnership with the R&A to help young people to 'Start, Learn and Stay' in the sport.
The foundation's Chief Executive Brendon Pyle said: "The 'Kids go Free initiative created a wonderful opportunity at Carnoustie and many of these boys and girls will have been inspired, particularly by that fantastic battle between the top players all week out on the course.
"The Open is a great week but it is only one week. We will now keep working hard as a charity."
There were activities on offer throughout the Championship at Carnoustie, including a Tri-Golf challenge, which gave youngsters the chance to play with former Champion Golfer of the Year Paul Lawrie, who lifted the Claret Jug at Carnoustie, and competitors Tyrrell Hatton and Matt Wallace.
There were free lessons available from a team of PGA professionals, as well as games at the 'R&A SwingZone.'
Also launched during The Open week was the 'SafeGolf' scheme, which aims to promote a safe and positive environment for everyone involved in the sport, supported by both the Golf Foundation and The R&A.
And in addition to their work at Carnoustie, the RICOH Women's British Open at Royal Lytham & St Annes supported the Golf Foundation by creating two new HSBC Golf Roots Centres in the area, in line with the R&A's Women in Golf Charter.
The Golf Foundation's HSBC Golf Roots programme aims to introduce more young players to the game through their schools and reaches 500,000 people each year.
"Our HSBC Golf Roots programme relies on The R&A and all our valued partners to encourage more kids of all abilities to enjoy the benefits of the sport," continued Pyle.
"We are all working together with this aim in mind.
"Our team of ten Regional Development Officers are highly committed to helping golf clubs to demonstrate to youngsters and families that golf is fun, enriching and safe."