England Golf report estimates benefits of newcomers to golf could be worth £22.5million to clubs
By ECG Newsdesk
New research has revealed that over 192,000 people were inspired to try golf in England in just one year - and have helped pump millions of pounds into clubs in the process.
The figure is identified in England Golf’s latest County Impact Report which highlights growing participation and club memberships in the year to the end of March 2016.
Of those who tried the sport, over 64,000 went on to take structured coaching courses (up 17% on the previous 12 months); around 34,000 are now playing once a week, and almost 14,000 new club memberships have been reported (up 31%).
It’s estimated that the benefit to golf clubs and other centres, from coaching and subscriptions, could be as high as £22.5million.
The newcomers and returners to the sport were attracted by Get into golf opportunities offered across the country. Their numbers reflect the work of the England Golf county network to support clubs to recruit and retain more golfers.
Nick Pink, England Golf chief executive, said: “These are excellent results. They’re a tribute to the hard work of our network of County Development Officers and all our partners. We are looking forward to building on this success.”
Support for clubs included highly-praised Business Growth Forums, which launched England Golf’s new training and education programme, ‘Let’s Raise our Game’. Over 600 clubs and 1,500 key decision makers attended and a series of demand-led workshops were organised as a result.
The Business Growth Forums were developed from the ‘Increasing Membership and Participation’ (IMP) pilot in Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Northamptonshire, which helps clubs take a fresh look at their opportunities, identify goals for growth and trial new approaches
It has also led to the national launch of Golf Express, which promotes the nine-hole game to encourage busy people to play more often. In the successful trial in Staffordshire, over 4,600 nine-hole rounds were played in eight months.
Meanwhile, the Get into golf campaign, to inspire people to take up and play golf, is benefitting from a new partnership with Sky Sports, which aims to bring 500,000 new or lapsed golfers into the sport by the end of 2018.