Golf writer & photographer. Author of ‘Hooked’, the most comprehensive guide to Ireland's golf courses, and ‘Driving the Green’. Published by Collins Press. Editor for Destination Golf Ireland, feature writer for Irish Golfer Magazine freelancer for Irish Examiner. Golf is in the blood. http://www.kevinmarkhamphotography.com
Monday, January 29, 2018
Irish Golf - A Show of Strength
Ladies Get into Golf going from strength to
Royal Tara - just one of the venues which held a highly successful Get Into Golf programme.
GUI has often been accused of being sluggish and slow to react to issues
affecting our game but moves over recent years have – one hopes – altered that
perception. No doubt there will still be gripes about this or that but progress
has been made to coincide with international changes.
golfers with any interest in the industry are well aware of the challenges
facing the game. The cost, the time involved, the commitment (to play well),
slow play, handicap manipulating and, of course, the issue of formality that
a monkey to the sport’s back. And then there’s the falling
membership which has, at least, pretty much reached the bottom. How does a game
survive in circumstances such as these? Keep banging the same drum? Put on the
blinkers and pretend nothing is happening? If we do that then the game will
continue to wither. At every level of the game we need to be making changes –
change the game, change who we attract, change how we keep people in.
have huge admiration for the Confederation of Golf in Ireland, which has
been running for a few years now. Efforts have been targeted at specific
sectors of potential golfers and these efforts continue to be rewarded.
Since 2014, 166
clubs have benefitted from the Confederation of Golf in Ireland’s (CGI) Ladies
Get into Golf programme. The eight week course consists of a mixture of lessons
with a PGA Professional and on-course activities with current members of the
ladies section – ensuring participants receive both technical instruction and
are welcomed socially into the golf club environment.
Another shot from Royal Tara.
Over the past
number of years, participating clubs have had enormous success including a 60%
conversion rate into membership. On average clubs are seeing a potential
revenue return of €11,450.
women have joined Golf Clubs as introductory members through this initiative in
the past four years,” explained CGI Participation Manager Anne McCormack,
largely down to the hard work and dedication of club volunteers, who with the
support of the CGI Team have created an environment that welcomes and
integrates women into the club through a structured coaching and buddying
system. Clubs have not only seen an increase in their revenue and
membership figures by running Get into Golf, they have also welcomed the energy
that the new members have brought.”
their successfully run programme, through which Gort Golf Club have doubled
their ladies membership Jane Joyce said,
“It really has
brought a new life to our club, there was so much laughter and enjoyment at all
of the sessions – from the beginners and from all of the buddies!”
accommodating and attracting working women was the key to success for Gort; “Of
the 50 ladies who have progressed into our introductory membership, the vast
majority are in their 40s and 50s, we were very adamant that our sessions
were run at times that suited everyone and to not restrict anyone who wanted to
maximum sustainably for clubs recruiting new members, CGI have made a Stay in
Golf resource available to over 100 Golf Clubs. This resource has been
developed to help clubs generate ideas to assist new members in moving on from
their initial beginner activities to developing their golf skills and knowledge
through a series of activities and good practice case studies which includes
many solutions to integrating new members within the current membership.
To find out
more information or to apply for any of the CGI Programmes visit cgigolf.org