The 3-minute video that shows golf clubs how to grow junior sections

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir November 10, 2014 11:17

A company that carried out market research on the business of golf has teamed up with a club to produce a professional video that teaches the industry how to grow junior sections.

syngenta

Syngenta, which is carrying out ongoing polling into youth and female participation, broadcast the video publicly at the 2014 European Golf Business Conference in Barcelona for the first time.

It highlights how golf clubs can successfully engage young people in golf and showcases the work of Gaudet Luce Golf Club in Worcestershire, which works closely with local schools and has created its own youth development programme, which coaches more than 150 young people each week.

As a result, nearly 60 young people have become junior members at the club, with 41 parents joining as full members and another 48 parents signing up as academy members.

Simon Elsworth, Head Turf & Landscape EAME, who presented the findings of the recently published study The Opportunity to Grow Golf: Youth Participation at the 2014 European Golf Business Conference, said: “The video brings to life what our golf market research is saying – young people need fast-track learning, affordable play, shorter courses and flexible facilities where they feel welcome and happy.

“Gaudet Luce is a great example of a golf club that is listening carefully to what its customers and prospective customers are saying. It proves that golf clubs can successfully grasp the opportunity of youth participation and, in doing so, deliver long-term benefits for golf both as a sport and a business.”

(Watch the video here:)

 

To examine the opportunity of youth participation, Syngenta commissioned a series of focus groups with 14 to 15-year-olds and 17 to 18-year-olds.

The research was conducted by GfK, one of the world’s largest market research firms, at professional studios in Watford and Wimbledon, with responses observed via two-way mirrors and recorded on video. Each session was facilitated by GfK’s Sue Gledhill, a specialist in youth market research.

“The big headline is that it is not easy for youngsters to access golf,” explained Sue Gledhill. “I was pleasantly surprised that there was an underlying interest in the sport, but to get them into golf and make them golfers is a long journey. There is a feeling among young people that they don’t belong in the golf club environment – it is seen as something for mature men.

“When our groups spoke about attitude towards young people, it was quite an emotive response. They felt they had to behave in a particular way and if they didn’t, they were a nuisance. I felt a little bit sad that they wanted to be part of the golf world yet they didn’t feel they fitted in and couldn’t behave in the way they felt comfortable with. Not being able to express themselves naturally at a golf club takes the fun out of the sport.”

Sue Gledhill continued: “The young people also said they don’t like having to dress in a particular way. For the girls, there was a very strong sense of how masculine the golf world feels – they wanted it to be more feminine.

“However, existing junior golfers expressed their feeling of belonging in a competitive sense and really valued their coaches. This is where the golf industry can reach out to younger players, help them hone their skills and develop their performance.”

“I think the most important factor that brings juniors here is the relaxed atmosphere,” says Gaudet Luce’s operations manager Rob Laing. “The members all know we are big at pushing junior golf and they all accept that and have got behind that. They all encourage the juniors to play more and want to play in the competitions with them.

“The juniors come to the golf club because they want to learn to play golf and improve their golf in an environment that’s friendly and where they are going to enjoy themselves.”

 

A full review of The Opportunity to Grow Golf: Youth Participation, which details the data that recorded following interviews with children, can be found in the print edition of the November issue of Golf Club Management. The Opportunity to Grow Golf: Female Participation will be published in the December issue and a full review of it will appear in the January 2015 issue.

 

Syngenta is one of the world’s leading companies with more than 28,000 employees in over 90 countries dedicated to our purpose: Bringing plant potential to life. Through world-class science, global reach and commitment to our customers we help to increase crop productivity, protect the environment and improve health and quality of life.  For more information about us please go to www.syngenta.com. To see more of the golf videos it produces, visit www.greencast.co.uk.

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir November 10, 2014 11:17
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