135,000 people tried golf in just 6 months

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir December 12, 2016 14:19

More than 135,000 people tried golf in England between April and September 2016, according to new figures.

The figure is a huge rise of 47 per cent compared with the previous year, and more than 9,000 of them joined golf clubs as a result.

The research comes from England Golf’s County Impact Report, which suggests that many of the organisation’s initiatives to promote the game are having an effect.

“The number of people trying golf is up 47 per cent on the same period last year and over 43,000 have taken coaching courses of at least four weeks,” said a spokeswoman.

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Image by Leaderboard Photography

“Meanwhile, there’s a growing commitment to regular play, shown by a 26 per cent increase in new memberships, which include trial and introductory packages.”

The organisation says the success is down to campaigns such as Get into golf and Golf Express, plus the supportive role of county development officers and business growth hubs.

England Golf chief executive Nick Pink said: “Clubs are at the centre of everything we do and it’s very satisfying for our county teams to work with them to achieve these results. Now, we all look forward to building on these successes and helping clubs to become even stronger.”

“County development officers, working in partnership with county unions, associations, the Golf Foundation and the PGA, connected clubs with national campaigns and helped them to recruit and retain members and strengthen their business structure,” added the England Golf spokeswoman.

“Clubs have been able to take advantage of the highly successful business growth hubs, demand-led workshops and support to help them understand their local market before making investment and marketing decisions.

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Nick Pink

“Campaigns include Get into golf, supported by Sky Sports, which received over 700,000 hits on its getintogolf.org website from people interested in beginner golf opportunities. Over 730 clubs have used the website to promote more than 13,000 activities and attract over 32,000 beginners. An increasing number of Get into golf beginners are joining clubs, with almost 5,000 becoming members this summer, compared with nearly 4,000 last year.

“During the summer a number of new ventures were launched, including Golf Express, which promotes shorter formats and particularly nine-hole golf on the golfexpress9.org website. It encourages busy people to play more often, telling them that it’s ‘all the game in half the time.’ It was successfully trialled in Staffordshire, helping to retain current players and attract returners by offering a playing opportunity that fitted in with their lifestyle.

“June was dedicated to highlighting the ongoing golfing opportunities for women and girls under the banner of #ThisGirlsGolfs. Encouragingly, 40 per cent of all those trying golf were female and clubs are successfully attracting them to women-only Get into golf sessions and into membership.

“July turned the spotlight on golf as a game for all the family. Clubs were encouraged to run open days and existing golfers invited their families to share their pleasure in the game. These events helped to attract new visitors and members. Marketing materials were available to clubs for both focus months, which will be repeated in 2017 as part of England Golf’s promotional calendar.

“Girls Golf Rocks – a project run jointly with the Golf Foundation – successfully attracted 600 girls in nine counties to try golf, helped by the promise from young ambassadors that it’s a fun and sociable game. Over 500 went on to take coaching courses and more than 200 have become club members. Next year, Girls Golf Rocks will be run in 15 counties.”

 

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir December 12, 2016 14:19
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2 Comments

  1. Darren Golfshake December 15, 16:11

    9k joining – is this new members or moving from one to another ?

    Reply to this comment
  2. DJM December 15, 16:01

    No mention of “churn” with golfers leaving one club/joining another ?

    Or that the coaching courses have been heavily subsidised out of EGU funds (in turn taken from Golf Club Members subs) ?

    Reply to this comment
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