19 clubs launch 9-hole loyalty card scheme to tackle slow play

Martyn Clapham
By Martyn Clapham May 14, 2015 10:18

Nineteen golf clubs have launched a radical loyalty card scheme to speed up golf so that it is played in half the time it normally takes.


Slow play has been cited as one of the main reasons why golf has seen a dramatic fall in participation in the last 15 years, and research from Syngenta shows that 31 percent of golfers are leaving the game because it takes too long to play and a nine-hole option would encourage then to play more often.

An 18-hole round typically takes about four hours to play while a nine-hole round usually takes less than two hours to complete.

All 19 golf clubs are based in Staffordshire and have agreed to be part of Golf Express, an England Golf campaign ‘to encourage busy people to play all the game in half the time’.

This campaign, which has been welcomed by Ryder Cup star Justin Rose, offers nine-hole green fees and formats, plus a loyalty card to encourage golfers to play more often: if they play five rounds, they get the sixth free.

U.S. Open Golf Practice Round June 15,  2011

Justin Rose. Image by Keith Allison

Twelve of the clubs are also offering golfers the opportunity to play in weekly, after-work roll-ups. These are open to non-members, a handicap is not essential and players will be paired up with other golfers for the fun competitions.

England’s Justin Rose – the world number six – described Golf Express as: “A great way to play all the game in half the time.”

Golf Express is part of an England Golf project which is trialling innovative ways of increasing golf club membership and participation in the sport. It recognises that most people’s leisure time is reducing and for many it can be as little as two hours a day.

loyalty card alper cugun

Example of a loyalty card. Image by Alper Cugun

David Joy, chief executive of England Golf, commented: “We hope this new initiative will encourage more people to play more often because it makes golf more attractive and convenient for today’s lifestyles”.

The clubs involved in Golf Express are: Bloxwich, Branston, Calderfields, Darnford Moor, Dartmouth, Druids Heath, Izaak Walton, Lakeside, Lichfield, Mark Butler Golf Academy, Newcastle, Onneley, Oxley Park, Stafford Castle, Stone, The Chase, Trentham Park, 3 Hammers and Uttoxeter.


Martyn Clapham
By Martyn Clapham May 14, 2015 10:18
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1 Comment

  1. pensioner pete May 14, 17:04

    3 hammers is a lovely little par 3 course.

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