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‘New approach’ results in increased golf participation

By Tom Walker    03 Jul 2015
England Golf has increased opportunities for regular playing sessions for players of all ages

England Golf's renewed emphasis on structured coaching courses and providing regular playing opportunities has lead to a surge in new players taking up the sport.

A new impact report by the national governing body shows that there were 8,500 new club memberships taken up in the year to March 2015 – which could equal £7.2m in annual subscriptions.

The report also shows large increases (43 per cent) in the number of people taking structured golf coaching and the number of people playing weekly has gone up 48 per cent since 2014.

The increases are credited with England Golf’s new strategy of providing fewer one-off taster sessions and placing more emphasis on coaching and offering regular sessions which are more likely to lead to club memberships.

The new approach supports the England Golf Strategic Plan for 2014-17 which has seven key aims, including creating more players, more members and stronger clubs.

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.”

The Impact Report has been prepared by England Golf’s Participation and Club Support Department and highlights:

• How England Golf has invested significantly in digital advertising during summer 2015 to increase awareness of golf and drive traffic to the website.

• Pilot projects that 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.

• Increased capacity for county development officers to strengthen local activities. The results, from 33 counties, are beating internal targets set by the England Golf Part

To download the full report in PDF form, click here.

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