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NEXT GEN: Tommy Fleetwood Academy Dubai leads the charge to inspire young people to play golf


Tommy Fleetwood Academy Dubai
Image credit: Tommy Fleetwood Academy Dubai

The Tommy Fleetwood Academy (TFA) is leading the charge to inspire young people to take up the game of golf in Dubai thanks to a partnership with DP World, recycling a shipping container into a mobile golf studio that is taken to local schools to deliver get-into-golf sessions.  Since inception in 2023, the TFA team has visited five schools, for a week at a time, where they deliver fun golf-based games and activities to children of all ages and abilities. The container was also on site during the 2023 DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates, for children and families to use during the tournament. Originally a shipping container, it has been refurbished into a state-of-the-art studio with the front side folding down to create a hitting bay with Trackman technology and a practice hitting net. The studio also features an AI-generated picture of Tommy Fleetwood in the studio for selfies.  Tim Backhouse, Head Professional at the Tommy Fleetwood Academy in Dubai, said: "All of us at the Tommy Fleetwood Academy Dubai are extremely proud to be involved in this amazing project with DP World. "It’s been so fulfilling to see the container studio come to life and the team begin to deliver get-into-golf sessions to children around the city."

 

"The container swing studio enables the kids to try the sport in familiar territory, with no pressure to buy any equipment upfront, and they can enjoy competing with their friends. Keeping the sport simple and engaging for junior golfers instils not only a love of the game, but a desire to get better. "By providing the equipment, the expertise, and the opportunity, we hope to continue inspiring young people to fall in love with this great game." Trackman technology enables youngsters to engage in the game in several unique ways, with various formats and competitions between the 30-40 kids at a time. There are between 40 and 60 sessions carried out in the week, before the shipping container continues across Dubai to the next school. When there is an accessible sports pitch on the school grounds, the TFA team can set up hitting mats and targets on the turf; to help the kids to work on their hand-eye coordination. DP World are crucial to this project, encouraging a fun and interactive game of golf, while supplying clubs, chipping greens and nets, alongside other necessary equipment to entertain 60 kids at a time. In a two-week period, over a thousand children will have had the chance to use the facilities. The lessons take place on school grounds, which is a huge strength of the container, as the kids remain comfortable in their familiar environment, rather than the potentially daunting introduction to the sport via an unfamiliar golf course. A handful of schools are offering golf as extracurricular activity, where once a week the juniors visit the TFA at Jumeirah Golf Estates. The TFA team are now providers of extra credit in schools, and Tommy Fleetwood has visited the schools with his Academy team.A Ryder Cup legend and DP World Tour winner, he continues to inspire the next generation of golfers in Dubai. The equipment comes at no extra cost to parents, with the goal to visit as many schools as possible and to enhance junior golf participation. In the last year alone, there has been a huge growth in the development of grass-roots golf in Dubai and the wider UAE.

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