The top 3 things I learnt about golf in April
Here’s the top three things I learnt while editing the magazine this month.
3. There probably aren’t too many UKIP voters at Merthyr Tydfil (Cilsanws) Golf Club in Wales.
Merthyr Tydfil, where the founder of the Labour Party, Keir Hardie, was an MP, was never going to become UKIP’s spiritual home, but that seems even less likely now that a European Union fund has granted £50,000 to the golf club to spend on course machinery, lockers, its kitchen and flooring in the clubhouse. A similar amount has also been granted to the local rugby club.
While some may criticise the award, the club believes the money will allow it to grow its business and attract more people to play at, and join, the club.
2. Golf needs to shout about the good that it does.
Ryder Cup organisers have announced that a portable golf course will tour care homes in Perth and Kinross this year, providing a fun activity to very elderly people.
It’s hard to create a better PR story for golf, but the announcement of this initiative was typically understated – just a couple of sentences buried in the middle of a press release between various other announcements with no specific quotes from anyone involved in golf about it.
Golf has a terrible PR problem – and one of the reasons why is because it seems the industry is reluctant to show off the good work that it often does.
- 1. Free golf is taking off in the UK
Back in the days of waiting lists golf clubs didn’t need to get new people playing golf. Today they do – and they’re finding that getting beginners to try the game for free is an effective way to create new customers.
At least 29 UK golf clubs have offered free rounds or coaching for the first time since the start of this year, and one club has even thrown down the gauntlet to a top player – if one opens its new short game area it will provide unlimited free golf to anyone under 16.
The offer of free taster golf is starting to become the norm in the industry.