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Thursday, 28 March, 2002, 14:13 GMT
Trio join Golf England
Nick Dougherty (left) and Nick Faldo
Nick Dougherty is a protege of Nick Faldo
Justin Rose, Nick Dougherty and Luke Donald have joined Golf England to help the scheme attract sponsors to the amateur game and inspire the next generation of young players.

Golf England is designed to re-invest money back into the game at grassroots level.

The English Golf Union (EGU) predict Golf England could generate up to 7m if a sufficient number of clubs join the scheme.

Rose sprang to prominence when he finished fourth at the 1998 Open championship as a 17-year-old amateur.

After an initial struggle on the professional circuit he began 2002 with a bang, landing his maiden European Tour victory in South Africa's Dunhill Championship.

Golf England is one of the greatest developments in English golf and benefits everyone
Walker Cup captain Peter McEvoy

He also won on South Africa's Sunshine Tour, taking the Nashaua Masters, and was in contention for the Tour's Order of Merit title.

He said: "Nick, Luke and I have all had very rewarding amateur careers and this will give us the opportunity to give a little back."

Dougherty - a protege of England's former world number one Nick Faldo - said: "I enjoyed some fantastic experiences as an amateur which have prepared me well for my professional career," he said.

"It is great to be given the chance to put something back into the English game which has given me so much."

Nigel Furniss, the EGU's Performance Manager, said: "Until now, we have only been able to wish our best talent good luck as they turn pro.

Justin Rose won the 2002 Dunhill Championship in South Africa
Rose took time to bloom in the pro ranks

"We have never quite managed the success in the pro arena that we have achieved as amateurs.

"This is a great way to bridge the gap between amateur and professional golf."

Peter McEvoy has captained Great Britain and Ireland's Walker Cup team - including Donald and Dougherty - to two successive victories over the Americans in the amateur version of the Ryder Cup.

He said: "I believe Golf England is one of the greatest developments in English golf and benefits everyone.

"At national level, it will strengthen and fund the future of the game.

"Clubs will enjoy major savings through the power of group purchasing and members can take advantage of a host of discounts and benefits."

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