Whether we like to admit it or not Golf is facing a challenge right now. That challenge is getting people to play. Whilst the die hards will play no matter the weather, the key is to encourage those fairweather golfers to dust off their clubs and play.
The numbers playing our game are not great. According to Sport England, the amount of golfers playing has dropped significantly. 21,600 people over past year have opted to put their clubs away. One of the key reasons for not playing was a simple one. Time. As the average round on the PGA Tour takes over five hours it is understandable. Most players will opt for a round a week, some simply don’t have the time. In our ever changing world, time has become a much precious commodity.
With time being highlighted as a major issue disuading people from the game, England Golf has introduced their new initative to grow the game. Golf Express is exactly what it says on the tin. The aim to focus on the game’s shorter format of nine holes.
So how exactly are England Golf going to attract more players to the shorter format? Well, a national media campaign does help but in truth, it is much more than simply raising awareness. England Golf are giving all participating clubs a Loyality card to give to players. The loyailty card will give every player their sixth round of Golf Express for free.
Each player will be given a registration form. Once completed players will receive regular updates from the club the registered at including any 9 hole competitions that they can enter. It all sounds like music to the ears for players who simply lack the time for a full round of 18.
The concept was trialled with clubs across the country. The results have been impressive. Clubs saw an increase in participation with most clubs increasing their twilight tee slots. Now the format has been rolled out across the country.