UKGCOA changes it name and its core aims

Tania Longmire
By Tania Longmire July 10, 2018 17:01

The UK Golf Course Owners Association (UKGCOA) has become the UK Golf Federation and has changed its main aims.

Set up in 2010, UKGCOA was a representative body for proprietary golf owners and operators, which mainly campaigned on changing the taxation status of commercially-minded golf clubs.

The UK Golf Federation, however, will predominantly exist to ‘encourage more independent golfers to play more golf’. It is open to proprietary and private members’ clubs, provided they accept green fee paying visitors.

Independent, or nomadic, golfers are people who play golf but are not members of golf clubs. They are the largest group of players in the UK.

“Over the last few decades, there have been many changes in the way that golf has been administered and regarded by the public,” said a spokesman.

“Those purchasing their golf have far more choice at better value than in years past.

“The UK Golf Federation is designed to unite all golfers, but especially pay and play golfers with courses, clubs and golf centres that really want to see more visiting traffic. In blunt terms, golf course owners know how to attract new golfers better than anyone, as they try all sorts of promotions and offers to get the best out of their venue.

“This ensures that they provide excellent customer service – as a happy golfer, well served by friendly, helpful staff, is likely to return. Grumpy and gruff, pompous and pedantic might have worked a treat 20-plus years ago, but it will result in very low repeat custom today.

“These user-friendly golf clubs, courses and centres need not just be owned by a for-profit proprietor: any facility can join our merry band, providing they are genuinely welcoming of guests and not out to exclude the visitor to cultivate a culture of exclusivity, which might give them an edge in a ‘better than you’ game of membership pecking orders.

“The truth about the largest category of golfer in the UK today is that they do not think that it is value to pay for an annual subscription at one particular club, as they do not play often enough to justify the investment, or they prefer the variety and flexibility of paying as they play.”

There are thought to be at least 3.5 million nomadic golfers in the UK.

“Joining the UK Golf Federation will always be free and we will always be encouraging and helpful to those who may want a little nurturing as they steer their way in the complex sport of golf,” added the spokesman.

“We will provide an easy to navigate, regionalised list of facilities, where golfers are welcome. Some will also offer slightly reduced rates for golfers registered to the UK Golf Federation to play, and there will also be the opportunity to get great off-peak deals from UK Golf Federation facilities.

“If you are not a formal member of a golf club, then it is very difficult to play competitive golf of any sort, because you probably will not have a handicap. Most UK Golf Federation venues will offer several competitions and events each year, which are open to UK Golf Federation members.

“Other golfing bodies may think that we are stepping on their toes and perhaps even getting too big for our boots. But the truth is that nobody is trying to help casual golfers with their pursuit of the sport.”

 

Tania Longmire
By Tania Longmire July 10, 2018 17:01
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1 Comment

  1. Jeremy July 9, 17:16

    Long overdue ! England Golf and the PGA have been dinosaurs at dealing with Golf’s radically changing demographic. Let’s hope UK Golf Federation can do a better job. Sign me up please

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