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Starting new at golf is set to be a whole lot of fun for Southland children and adults alike, with the introduction of a new coaching system and equipment hitting the region this month.

SNAG Golf (Starting New At Golf) offers a modified version of golf, using oversized golf clubs, velcro balls and targets that make it easier to learn the game and fundamental skills required for it.

In conjunction with New Zealand Golf, Golf Southland has secured a kit for the next 12 months and Golf Southland chairwoman Robyn Boniface believes it could be a big boost for the sport in the south.

“It’s about the fun element,” she said.

“It’s big, bright equipment that is teaching people – whether they be children or adults – the basics of the game.

We have a kit on loan for the next 12 months and, if it’s as successful as what we hear it has been, hopefully we will continue with it after that. If it translates into more people playing golf, then it will certainly be worth it.”

The SNAG kit will enable Southland to host SNAG in the Park – a collaboration between NZ Golf and SNAG Golf New Zealand, which Golf Southland will deliver over the spring and summer. The idea behind it is to introduce families to the modified version of the game in their own back yard.

Southland schools are also set to benefit, with Golf Southland set to take it into schools, in the hope that plenty of people will enjoy the fun concept.

SNAG Leader David Thompson said the kit, and the coaching system that comes with it, provided the ideal grounding for anyone wanting to get started in golf and he believed Southlanders would embrace it.

“With SNAG you do see success straight away, which is a big part of making it fun and making people want to carry on with it,” he said.

“You’ll hit the target nine out of 10 times – it’s that easy – and by learning the fundamentals of golf with SNAG you’re more likely to have success when you get to real golf.”

“We also really push the family focus of, so it will be set up in a park or at a club and families can come along and spend 30 or 40 minutes, have a go and have some fun.”

“What we hope to see in Southland is that people will get the opportunity to have a go at it in a number of settings that will attract new kids and families to the game. We want to see more kids being exposed to golf either through schools or in the park.”

“We also want families that might not normally play golf, to give SNAG in the Park a go, which may in turn lead them to venture out to their local golf club.”

“Ultimately, it’s about getting more people playing more golf.”

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