A Home Counties golf range chain that is using a Tyrannosaurus Rex and the hit TV series Lost to attract hundreds of youngsters to play the game has achieved RangeMark recognition.
World of Golf, which has ranges at New Malden and Croydon in Surrey and another at Sidcup, Kent, has earned the award for its high standards and efforts in attracting a new generation of golfers.
PGA professionals Jon Woodroffe, group golf development manager at World of Golf, and Richard Morris are the driving forces behind its success which includes a Schools Go Free Campaign at New Malden.
The range there includes a dinosaur-themed adventure putting course while at Sidcup newcomers tee up amid tropical splendour based on the Lost TV series.
PGA Fellow Professional, Woodroffe, who last year won the Golf Foundation’s Sinclair Award for his work with juniors, admits the RangeMark accreditation is a significant step in helping them develop further initiatives.
“The RangeMark shows customers and potential customers we are available and accessible,” he said. “One of our main goals is to take down the perceived barriers that golf has. Unfortunately people think there are real barriers to get into golf such as sexism, elitism and cost but the reality is different and RangeMark will help to get across the message that we are open to all.
“We have introductory level classes and the attitude that we have is that we like to get people into golf and to enjoy that sport. Through experiencing golf in a fun environment – like through the dinosaur and Lost putting courses, we get them coming back. In the last year we introduced more than 3,000 kids in New Malden to golf.”
World of Golf employs 18 PGA pros and assistants who network through local schools, county fairs and other public events with Tri-Golf and X-treme Golf to whet appetites for the sport.
“Our view is that the golf industry rather than sitting and waiting for golfers has to drive initiatives, which is why we are so pro-active,” added Woodroffe. “My job is to go out and engage with our potential customers of the future and the RangeMark also shows high levels of procedure for child protection and customer care while on site.
“It also gives us access to funding to help promote initiatives and outreach work that we are already heavily involved in.”
World of Golf www.worldofgolf.co.uk