LOCHGELLY Golf Club pro, Michael Kanev, is right to be concerned about the amount of youngsters playing the Royal Ancient Game.

Over the past ten years the numbers of under 16s taking up golf has plummeted all over Scotland.

A seminar on the issue held last autumn heard that some clubs, who in the early 2000s had 150 youth members, were down to single figures or even none.

The story at Lochgelly is that they have a few boys and girls members but Michael is determined that this number should be built up.

But is something that is haunting every club including the four local clubs, how do we build the numbers up?

The reasons for the decline in youth involvement can be traced to a number of factors, cost and youngsters' time being two of the main ones.

So it is a positive move at the Cartmore Road club that they have opened up free membership to Under 16s and I believe that they will be looking to contact the town's three primary schools in the summer term hoping to promote youth golf.

How the 'time factor' is tackled is one which is hard to square. There is no doubt that the electronic games aspect is a massive influence on the amount of time kids have for sporting pursuits.

But at a time when children's health and wellbeing is very much top of the educational agenda, encouraging outdoor pursuits is important.

Michael's ideas include having nine hole competitions for kids, or even six holes, to get them involved in the game.

His thoughts are that if they enjoy the 'short' game it could lead them into playing the longer version.

Golf is a sport where injuries are less prevalent than in the likes of football or rugby, and through walking three or four miles people of all ages are getting good quality exercise.

So all power to Michael in his efforts to get more youngsters involved in the game at Lochgelly GC and hopefully he will be successful and the story will be the same at Cowdenbeath, Auchterderran and Ballingry Golf Clubs.