‘Free golf coaching and shorter courses leads to new members’

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir August 11, 2015 14:59

New data from England Golf has found that clubs that offer free golf coaching and the ability to play less than 18 holes of the game are seeing a ‘surge’ in new players and club members.

According to the association’s Impact Report, there were over 8,500 new club memberships in England in the year to March 2015 – which could equal £7.2 million in annual subscriptions.

The results follow a year of changed focus in county activity to grow the game. There have been fewer one-off taster sessions and more emphasis on structured coaching courses and regular playing opportunities which lead to club membership.

The main successes were due to:

  • A pilot project running in Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Northamptonshire to trial new ways of increasing participation and membership. These include free golf coaching at pitch and putt courses, promotion of nine-hole golf and after-work roll-ups, and a junior retention project.
  • The ‘Get into golf’ campaign. England Golf has invested significantly in digital advertising during this summer 2015 to increase awareness of.
  • Increased capacity for county development officers to strengthen local activities.

More than 44,000 people aged 14-plus took part in structured coaching, 39 percent of them female and 11 percent disabled.
Over 36,000 people took follow-up activities
and a total of 8,539 new club memberships were reported – an average of 259 per county.

Claire Roberts, England Golf’s head of participation, said: “Research tells us that golf club members play golf most often and our county network has, therefore, concentrated on creating more regular players and more members.

“The past year has been very encouraging and England Golf will continue to work with counties and clubs to promote regular coaching and ways to recruit and retain club members.”


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir August 11, 2015 14:59
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  1. BNB August 14, 13:59

    Why the constant preoccupation with ‘Members’ rather than ‘players’? It may be 8000 new members, but as importantly just because, quite reasonably, they don’t wish to become members how are the other 35,000 players going to be catered for? They are paying customers too! Who knows, they may be worth more in total than £7.2m, Or are clubs (and England Golf by the sound of it!) not interested in them? Having made the effort to attract them, for which England Golf and the clubs involved should be applauded, is golf going to let 80% of those interested in golf just drift away simply because they are not interested in ‘Membership’ of a golf club?

    Reply to this comment
    • Graham Lowther August 14, 14:28

      Members of the club wouldn’t want 80% traffic from people that have no interest in keeping the course in good condition. Members are more likely to look after their course – look at any English council course.
      I get your point but it would be better directed at the local authorities or private investors creating centres tailor made for short golf with no or few core members.

      Reply to this comment
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