Isle of Man is second merged male and female English golf region

Emma Williams
By Emma Williams September 4, 2016 23:33 Updated

The Isle of Man is home to the second English region to merge the men and women’s organisations – after Northamptonshire.

Isle of Man Golf is the united campaign to grow golf and support the eight clubs on the island.

The merger of the two organisations means just one body is now responsible for the promotion and development of golf on the island, where there are more than 2,500 active club members already. It is hoped the new partnership will grow this figure.

Melanie Jansen has been appointed Isle of Man golf development officer to help encourage more people to take up golf and to increase club membership.

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Melanie Jansen

Melanie is a chartered accountant by profession, but holds coaching qualifications in a number of sports, and has been one of the driving forces behind the Western Swimming Pool Board over the last 14 years.

Melanie remarked: “We are so fortunate to have eight wonderful affiliated golf courses on the Island, each playing an important role in our community and Island life.

“Isle of Man Golf is keen to work alongside and support our clubs in their future development and success by the promotion of the sport and ensuring that golf is made more accessible to all.

“It is still a constant struggle for clubs to come up with new ideas, innovative membership fees and to now realise that more footfall is needed in the clubhouse.

“This challenge is not unique as, across the UK, golf clubs have been struggling to bring in more members. But the tide is turning and golf, quite rightly, is attracting new players.

“Some of these are the time-poor 25 to 45 year olds who don’t want to spend five hours playing, so clubs are being more creative in holding competitions over nine holes to allow people to play, socialise a bit and then get back to work or family.

“More ladies are playing and this is very encouraging as they see it not only as a competitive sport, but also as a good arena for social interaction.

“Social events in the evenings, including golf for families, are attractive, bringing more people through the door of the clubhouse, which again creates opportunities for membership to increase.”

She added: “The days of a golf club being able to operate successfully purely based on membership are long gone and our golf clubs need to review activities in order to survive against competition from other activities or sports.”

Isle of Man Golf president Geoff Skillicorn commented: “Not only is the focus on making our better players even better through defined coaching, encouraging play in more challenging competitions, and achieving success at national and international level, but also at the start of the golfing journey in encouraging our junior golfers by working more with our schools and colleges.”

While only Isle of Man and Northamptonshire have merged the men and women’s organisations, at national level both sides of the sport are now represented by England Golf, and next year will see the R&A and the Ladies Golf Union become one body.

 

Emma Williams
By Emma Williams September 4, 2016 23:33 Updated
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