In their own words: Nick Pink

Tania Longmire
By Tania Longmire May 13, 2019 22:47

The chief executive of England Golf details that the resurrection of Tiger Woods as a golfing champion could inspire increased participation – at a time when it is already rising.

Thank you Tiger Woods! Your historic victory in The Masters has given a fantastic kickstart to golf as the season unfolds.

The excitement and interest which Tiger generated with his win is a great buzz for golf. What’s important now is that we harness it to grow the game and I believe we’re ready to do exactly that.

Our research paints a very positive picture of golf which reflects the way the game is changing to become more welcoming, more inclusive, more accessible. In short, a sport for all.

People today want to play golf in many different ways. They want to fit it into a busy life, to find a format that suits all the family, to enjoy the game while meeting and socialising with friends. The good news is that golf is responding to these trends.

We know from our research that more clubs than ever before are offering beginner sessions and flexible membership offers. It’s proving a very successful approach. Our latest club questionnaire, which we carry out every two years, showed an increase in average membership from 460 to 484, between 2016 and 2018.

General participation is growing too. We’ve measured this across the UK for the past two years and our latest figures show that 4.2 million adults played on a full length course in the last year. That’s up from 3.69 million in the previous 12 months.

At the same time the numbers playing nine-hole golf are shooting up, underlining the great appetite for short format golf.

Competitive golf in England is also exciting, and there’s much home-grown success to inspire our ambitious young players. Justin Rose features at the top of the world rankings, Georgia Hall holds our latest Major, and English golfers account for 19 per cent of this season’s European Tour players and 16 per cent of the Ladies European Tour.

The Tiger effect can only help us to build on these very sound foundations as we emphasise the relevance of the game. For example, how it teaches life skills to youngsters, helps families spend time together and offers health benefits to people of all ages.

Our #SwitchOffWithGolf campaign, which we are running across the summer, highlights the wellbeing benefits of the game and encourages people to relax with golf. It doesn’t have to take much time, 30 minutes on the driving range can be a real stress-buster.

Meanwhile, the Tiger effect coincides with major changes in golf designed to make the game more user-friendly. These include the introduction of the new Rules of Golf and next year’s launch of the World Handicap System, which bring challenges and opportunities. At England Golf we have been preparing for all that lies ahead by taking a hard look at ourselves. We move forward as a streamlined and more cost-effective organisation which will be able to offer greater value to members. I’ll be able to tell you more about our plans next time. Until then, let’s all make the most of the Tiger effect.

For more information, visit www.englandgolf.org

 

Tania Longmire
By Tania Longmire May 13, 2019 22:47
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