English Golf Courses

Growing the game

Delegates leave England Golf forums full of ‘ideas and energy’

‘I fail to see how anyone cannot benefit from it,’ says one attendee of club development initiative

By ECG Newsdesk

A new training and education programme by England Golf called ‘Let’s Raise Our Game’ has launched with a hugely successful series of Business Growth Forums.

More than 1,500 delegates from roughly 600 golf clubs - almost a third of all those in England - signed up to attend the 24 forums, which were held across the country.

Now, all clubs have the opportunity to attend demand-led practical workshops, which are being organised over the next few months.

These workshops will cover topics highlighted by clubs during the forums, including marketing, customer service, revenue generation, recruitment and retention of members.

The workshops will be open to all |clubs, not only those which attended the forums, but places will be limited.

More information is available on the ‘Training and Education’ page of the England Golf website or by visiting the Golf Education Calendar.


The Business Growth Forums were free and aimed at key decision-makers in clubs, both staff and volunteers. They helped clubs take a fresh look at their opportunities, identify their goals for growth - including identifying ways to recruit and retain more member - and to find out about the support available from England Golf.

All of this prompted enthusiastic feedback from delegates, with one visitor saying the day was great for sharing ideas going forward.

“We are meeting as a group next week to talk about how to take the ideas forward,” said Lynn Thornton, the director of Kingsdown Golf Club, Wiltshire. “Thank you for a truly stimulating day. I cannot remember the last time I stayed alert and interested all day and came away full of energy!”

Chris Pountney, the county secretary at Cornwall Golf Union, echoed those sentiments. “The delivery of the forum was excellent,” he said. “I fail to see how anyone cannot have benefitted from it and the stimulus on some relatively easy steps so many can undertake to secure and improve their futures.”

The Business Growth Forums were tested and developed from England Golf’s pilot project, ‘Increasing Membership and Participation’, which is trialling new approaches in Warwickshire, Staffordshire and Northamptonshire.

Laura Rushby, England Golf’s Head of Training and Education, said: “We realised very quickly that these forums would be of great practical use to clubs everywhere and we rolled them out across the country. The response has been fantastic.”


The Business Growth Forums were led by Jane Carter, a golf industry expert who has worked with more than 400 golf clubs in the last five years to develop successful business and marketing strategies.

‘Let’s Raise Our Game’ is part of England Golf’s strategy to create stronger clubs. The forums support the work of the County Development Officers and Regional Managers. “We are all working together at club, county and national levels to grow golf and ensure it thrives across England,” added Rushby.

Photo © Leaderboard Photography

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