Tandridge Golf Club in Surrey has reduced the annual fees for its academy membership in a bid to stimulate growth from new golfers.
The Oxted-based venue has reduced the cost of its academy membership fee by nearly 40 per cent, from £750 to £475, as it looks to encourage more people – particularly women and girls – into the sport.
Club secretary Andrew Tanner admits it is a move some may consider ‘long overdue’. He said: “We have an excellent coaching staff here at Tandridge, in PGA pro Chris Evans and his team, but – as a private members club – historically we’ve probably been guilty of under-utilising their talents. We’ve never actively promoted academy membership here as an entry point to the sport in the local community, but that is changing – and it is a change that many of us feel is long overdue.
“The chances of a beginner stepping out confidently onto the course in the early days are slim, so there’s little point in factoring into the membership fee a course-use charge. The fee should act as an incentive for beginners to take advantage of the excellent facilities we have on offer – not a barrier.”
Academy membership comprises ten individual 40-minutes lessons; six one-hour group lessons; and unlimited free balls on the driving range.
Tanner added: “We will also maintain the fee structure for subsequent years, so newcomers don’t need to worry if they’re making slower progress than they thought they would. Academy members will also be mentored as they undergo the process of improving and getting their first handicap. This is one more step we are taking in making Tandridge more of a community asset. It remains a private members club, but it is now a private members club for the 21st century.”
Advanced PGA Professional Chris Evans, who has led the team at Tandridge for more than 20 years, said: “I am very excited by the prospect of getting more players into the game and, ultimately, seeing them progress to become members of a wonderful golf club right on their doorstep. Having top-level PGA instruction, along with free unlimited practice, should be a catalyst for academy members to flourish and reach a decent playing standard. We are really looking forward to the challenge of helping more people get into golf.”