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Getting into the swing for golf

IF schools really want to demonstrate enterprise they will set up mini-companies to make very small golf clubs. Before long the companies will cease to be "mini" because every pupil is to be introduced to the game by the age of nine and so the market for cut-down drivers and putters will be immense.

Why golf? The plan (page six) is part of Scotland's campaign for the Ryder Cup in 2009. The hard-pressed Scottish Tourist Board needs visitors from anywhere. There will be money for promoting Scotland's national game to youngsters. To be precise, football remains the national game but every child gets a shot at that in the playground before nine, and at a cost to no one. Besides, people behave badly at football matches, and only Americans ehave badly at golf. Expressive arts, personal and social education, moral education - golf offers role models to permeate the curriculum.

Before anyone says the timetable is too crowded, the need for national distinctiveness should be remembered. We spend too much time worrying about the Singaporeans' proficiency in maths. That is their bent; ours can be in golf, where we stand a chance of leading the league tables until Australian schools build practice grounds, set up academies and all play off scratch.

Instruction will be a challenge, though not for heads who are happier on the course than in the study. But are we to have specialist teachers or will primary staff get 27 days' tuition from their local professional?

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