The Golf Foundation announced this week that Ladies European Tour player Felicity Johnson will join the national golf charity as an official Ambassador. She will be supporting the work that the charity does to encourage young people from all backgrounds to benefit from the sport.
Aside from being a successful Ladies European Tour player, Felicity is well regarded in the sport for the positive way in which she plays her golf and her highly supportive nature towards golfers of all abilities. From being the first to congratulate friends who win on the LET to offering encouragement and coaching advice to youngsters at local golf clubs in her home area of the West Midlands, ‘Flic’ Johnson is seen by the Golf Foundation as perfectly embodying this charity’s values – that golf for juniors should be “fun, child-centred, inclusive, inspiring, innovative and enriching”.
Brendon Pyle, Chief Executive of the Golf Foundation, said: "We are absolutely delighted to welcome Felicity as an Ambassador. Just as important as our ‘Golf for All’ philosophy of encouraging more young people into the game regardless of ability, so is our desire to help in the personal development of boys and girls, offering them valuable ‘Skills for Life’ through learning golf. Flic will be a fantastic Ambassador as she understands the sport so well and the spirit in which she plays makes her a wonderful role model for all the young people who meet her or see her play".
As a youngster, Felicity also enjoyed a positive link with the Golf Foundation. Inspired to first play by her Grandad aged five with a little 5-iron, Felicity earned her first handicap of 23, aged 12, after working through the Foundation’s popular learning programme, the ‘Merit Award Scheme’ (now called the Junior Golf Passport).
Then came rapid progress, playing for her county and representing England from Under 16s to the full adult team before turning professional in 2006 and finding her feet on the Ladies European Tour, so far winning the Tenerife Open (2009) and the Lacoste Ladies Open de France (2011).
Felicity Johnson said: "The Golf Foundation is a charity entirely focused on helping more youngsters to share the joy of this sport together and I feel proud to be asked to be an Ambassador, assisting its team to change perceptions by showing this sport can be cool and fun for all young people".
"This charity helped me as a youngster so it is fantastic to put something back. I’m particularly looking forward to helping the Foundation to encourage more girls to get into golf."
It was perhaps typical of Felicity that only a few days after finishing joint-second in the heat and humidity of the recent Hero Women’s Indian Open, she gave up a day of her time to support the ‘Girls Golf Rocks’ Ambassador Leadership Day at The Belfry on Friday (October 26). Here Flic was fantastic with 13 of the young ambassadors who are among 250 young leaders who have been trained over four years, helping this year to mentor 1,600 young girls across 21 counties, in this Golf Foundation and England Golf initiative.
Felicity supported the girls in team-building tasks, played crazy golf with the youngsters before delivering an inspirational talk to all present on the hard work needed to succeed, never giving up, tackling the challenges girls can face in sport and the importance of friendship, family and enjoyment when playing golf. Just earlier in October, Felicity also supported the Golf Foundation’s Pro-Am fundraising day at London Golf Club alongside fellow LET players Liz Young, Sophie Walker and Hannah Burke, among European Tour, European Challenge Tour, and Staysure Tour players, all helping to raise more than £13,000 for girls’ golf projects.
Felicity Johnson has become the second official Ambassador for the Golf Foundation, which reaches 500,000 young people per year. In May this year, Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston became the first new Ambassador and has already helped to raise the profile of the Foundation’s ‘Tri-Golf’ format in schools, played by nearly 300,000 boys and girls. The Golf Foundation team is excited as it plans to announce officially two more Ambassadors soon, from the European Tour and Ladies European Tour.