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Scheme to put golf in schools

English golf is going on the offensive for the new millennium with a £4million bid to attract more young players into the game.

Lee Westwood, Europe's Player of the Year last season, welcomed the launch of the scheme at the Compass Group English Open, where he is the defending champion.

"I'm delighted to see so much more being devoted to develop junior players, who could become the English pros of the future," he said.

The English Golf Union, English Ladies' Golf Association and the Golf Foundation, the charity charged with junior golf development, have produced a plan under the banner of the newly-formed England Junior Golf Partnership.

The plan proposes a three-pronged attack - to introduce a new version of the game called Tri-Golf to primary school children from the age of four upwards; to teach the game to youngsters to prepare them for a place at a golf club; and to encourage more clubs to involve juniors and to increase junior membership by up to 15%.

"Golf has lagged behind other sports in terms of junior development, but this is our chance to catch up," said partnership chairman Ian Peacock.