Participation and membership figures show marked improvement as EGP receives £8.48m grant
By ECG Newsdesk
Golf in England has received a double boost, with new figures showing some encouraging signs for membership and participation, and the England Golf Partnership receiving a huge grant from Sport England to continue its work developing the game at grassroots level.
The latest England Golf County Impact Report has shown that over 135,000 people tried the sport between April and September last year, with more than 9,000 of those converted into new golf club members.
That’s an increase of 47% on the same period in 2016, with over 43,000 having taken coaching courses of at least four weeks. Meanwhile, there’s a growing commitment to regular play, shown by a 26% increase in new memberships, which include trial and introductory packages.
England Golf chief executive Nick Pink welcomed the figures, saying: “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.”
The Get into golf, supported by Sky Sports, received over 700,000 hits on its 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.
Golf Express was another successful initiative for English grassroots golf last year. Designed to promote the advantages and accessibility of shorter formats of the game - particularly nine-hole golf - 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.
The release of these figures was followed swiftly by news of an £8.48m award from Sport England to the England Golf Partnership to support talented players and encourage regular golfers to continue playing.
Partnership chairman Nic Coward said: “There are 3.6m golfers in England, and the game continues to produce many world-class players. We will continue to work with Sport England on our many projects and initiatives that deliver great results across the country.
“Our main aim is for all involved in the sport to work together in partnership, to put golfers first and to give everyone the best possible experience within the sport.
“Now we know the level of award from Sport England, we will consider our next steps, taking time to look at how best to deliver with the resources available to us.”
Photo © Leaderboard Photography