Here’s the top three things I learnt about golf club management in August

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir August 28, 2015 11:00

Pitchmarks are the bane of greenkeepers, but they can easily be beaten

It might be the oddest study I’ve ever seen in golf, but new research at Surrey Downs Golf Club, which finds that signs showing pictures of eyes that have words telling golfers to repair their pitchmarks, led to pitchmarks on the green the sign was by dropping by more than 50 percent.

02-04 pitchmark

This comes just a couple of years after another survey found that more than 90 percent of greenkeepers believe that golfers should pass a test on etiquette and course care before they play. Mainly because 57 percent of greenkeepers agreed with the statement: ‘golfers are bad or very bad at repairing pitchmarks’.

Offering free coaching does lead to new members

Many clubs have been saying this for years and now England Golf has data to prove it. Free coaching in Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Northamptonshire as part of a pilot project was one of the main reasons why there were over 8,500 new club memberships in England in the year to March 2015.

england golf leaderboard

Offering nine-hole golf rather than 18 holes also had a positive impact.

The decline of municipal golf could be more bad news for the game’s image

Lee Westwood certainly thinks so. Several council-owned golf courses, which typically offer affordable golf to any member of the local community, have closed down or been sold off in the last few years, and the former world number one golfer thinks this could have a devastating effect on the sport’s image.

lee westwood camron flanders

“Golf needs to have the stigma that it’s for old men – toffs – taken away from it. I’m from a working class background and started playing on a municipal golf course – there needs to be more municipal courses,” he said.

 

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir August 28, 2015 11:00
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