How can golf become more accessible for beginners?

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick May 24, 2022 15:04

Golf is seen as an exclusive sport, with only the wealthy and those with a lot of time on their hands able to play, but this isn’t necessarily the case, and people need to realise that there are ways to make golf more accessible and boost the numbers of people playing, especially in the younger generations.

There are certain aspects that are perfect for the golf industry. The sport gets an incredible amount of coverage all over the world, with big events shown on television and gambled on by many adults, who try to predict the players’ form and bet on the outcomes.

Plenty of top bookmakers offer a lot of different gambling markets around the golf industry so people can see what is going on when they sign into their app, for instance.

However, there are also some things that we all tend to get wrong when it comes to golf and making it accessible. The industry is far from perfect, and it isn’t that welcoming for some people.

Figures representing the number of people playing golf have shown a lot of fluctuation in recent years. Below, we’ve included some tips on how golf can become more accessible for beginners.

Keep golf courses thriving

You only have to look at the huge money changing hands on sponsorship deals to see how much money is in golf. Should there be a system in place to filter more money into the sport to stop golf courses having to close or be turned into houses?

We see many examples of this, with golf courses closing all over the country, and there is a necessity to help out to keep courses open. There’s no quick fix or simple solution, but it is vital that we have plenty of places to play.

Shorter courses

There’s a school of thought that 18 holes puts off the younger generations. Short courses could be a solution.

People may have time to play a quick nine or 12 holes after work, or even after school or university classes finish, but they probably don’t have time for a full 18 holes.

Think about another sport with a reputation for being quite closed off, for example cricket, and how it has evolved. There are more short competitions now, allowing people to play cricket in 10 or 20 over formats that take less time – so you don’t have to give up your whole weekend.

Golf Foundation
Golf Sixes
Mill Green Golf Club
Credit: Leaderboard Photography

Golf in schools

A lot of people who excel at golf do so because they start playing when they are really young, and one way to do this is to introduce golf in schools and allow children to give it a try.

There are some innovations such as “Jolf” to simplify the game and even make it easier for schools to offer golf as an activity, without having to spend loads on equipment.

Putting golf in schools is a great idea. We already play a variety of other sports in a school environment, – so why not golf? It isn’t as intensive as some other sports, so more kids might be tempted to have a go. We also know that golf can be really good for you and encourage movement, which is great for kids.

Making golf more affordable for young people

This is something that a lot of golf clubs have started to do in an attempt to get more youngsters playing.

Young people have a lot to pay for and they may not have a lot of money as they are early in their careers. So, making golf more affordable may mean they can choose to spend their Saturdays on the course instead of choosing a different activity.

Some golf club memberships offer tiered memberships based on your age. While this can mean taking a hit financially in the short term, it is more likely that, in the future, more people will continue to play and even become life members at the club.

Money is an issue for some young people when it comes to equipment too, so if golf clubs are able to do anything to support the sharing of second-hand equipment, it can help people out.

Create a culture of inclusivity

Golf doesn’t always feel inclusive for people. There’s no point in placing blame, and a lot of this may just be peoples’ perception, but nonetheless, that perception is rife.

This means that if you want to make golf feel more accessible, you need to go out of your way to ensure people know that they are welcome at your club – actions such as relaxing dress codes, and making sure people don’t feel left out can go a long way

Conclusion

There are many ways in which golf can be more of an inclusive sport, and to make it easy for anyone who wants to get involved. It’s vital to keep our beautiful sport thriving for the present, and for the future of the sport.

 

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick May 24, 2022 15:04
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