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Zane Scotland is Determined to Drive Change in Golf

By: | Mon 07 Mar 2022 | Comments

THE R&A has appointed Zane Scotland as a diversity ambassador and he is determined to drive change in the game, starting with the sport’s archaic dress code.

He will also supporting the development of initiatives that encourage more people from ethnically diverse communities into golf.

Scotland said: "I have said before that golf needs more diversity and challenged those running the game to step up and address the imbalance.

"I see this as a means to build on the good work already being done by the likes of the Golf Foundation and within golf societies to open up the sport. I know that there is still a long way to go, but I firmly believe that golf stands to benefit greatly if we can change perceptions and allow it to be seen as a fun and welcoming activity for everyone."

Scotland quite rightly says that in the past the stuffy dress code has been a huge barrier to the sport attracting a more diverse range of players. But now he believes that there is "light at the end of the tunnel". 

His role is to encourage more people from ethnically diverse communities into golf. “The dress thing has been a big part," Scotland said. "Being allowed to dress how you like to express yourself in our game.

"Right now I'm wearing a hoodie and I can turn up and come and play golf. It frustrates me when I go somewhere and there are some of these rules which are wildly off putting to people for no reason other than that's the way it has always been.” 

There are many golf clubs that would send Scotland to the changing rooms if he walked into the clubhouse while wearing jeans and a hoodie. 

Scotland is assisting with research to understand the challenges that exist for ethnically diverse communities and identify actions that can be taken to break down barriers and make golf more welcoming and appealing.

He will also play an important role in engaging with active golf societies including British Black Golfers and the Muslim Golf Association to foster valuable relationships and generate involvement in future activity.

Phil Anderton, Chief Development Officer at The R&A, said: "Our research is clearly showing that powerful role models like Zane are influential in encouraging more people from ethnically diverse backgrounds into golf and creating more positive and accurate perceptions of what the sport can really offer to participants.

"Zane's knowledge and experience will be invaluable in informing education for the industry and developing initiatives that proactively position the sport as inclusive for everyone who wants to play it, not only on the course but also the many other alternative forms of golf off the course that are crucial to attracting new participants, irrespective of background. We look forward to working with him."

A five-part video series has been created to highlight the positive benefits of golf as a sport for everyone and features Zane and his father Bernie; the work of British Black Golfers and the Muslim Golf Association; Zane introducing his cycling group to golf; and the perspectives of elite amateur golfers making their way in golf.

As an amateur golfer, Scotland became the youngest English golfer to qualify for The Open at Carnoustie in 1999. In the three years that followed, he went on to win amateur championships and gain representative honours in the Great Britain and Ireland teams that won the St Andrews Trophy and Jacques Léglise Trophy.

In 2003, he turned professional but a car crash that resulted in an injury to his neck halted his progress. He recovered to earn a place on the European Tour and more recently, has won ten times on the MENA Tour, the most by any player. He made his second appearance in The Open at St Andrews in 2010.

He set up the Zane Scotland Academy to assist in coaching aspiring amateur and elite professional golfers and is a regular Sky Sports Golf analyst.

What do you think? leave your comments below (Comments)

Tags: GOLFERS Golf


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