More member enjoyment and a rise in new golfers are on the cards after the latest innovation by Crown Golf, the UK’s leading golf club owner and operator.
The group has invested over £300k in a move which enables its most experienced PGA professionals to have maximum ‘face time’ with golfers by creating the Golf Development Professional (GDP) role – and it’s already getting more members and newcomers directly engaged with their club pro than ever before.
The result? Handicaps are coming down faster, more golfers are having lessons, and Crown Golf’s top PGA professionals are working more closely at the heart of their clubs.
If you need an introduction to fellow members, the GDPs are also helping new Crown Golf members to meet other golfers at their own club, and across the Crown Golf group.
And with a packed annual diary of over 50 golfing and social events at every Crown Golf Club, over and above regular medals and club matches, the GDPs are also heavily involved in the competitive side of the golf club.
The new roles have already started at Crown Golf venues in Surrey, Bristol, Essex, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, London, Middlesex and Merseyside.
Crown Golf members will find their GDP is available to engage with them daily, helping them to achieve their golfing goals, lower their handicap and expand their social life both at their own golf club and also across the wider Crown Golf family through the group’s popular ‘one membership, 23 clubs’ ethos.
The GDPs will also be Crown Golf’s chief ambassadors to the local community, developing participation both at the club and throughout the area, and will also manage each club’s custom-fitting service following Crown Golf’s investment in the latest launch monitor technology across the group.
“Now more than ever, golf has to compete for people’s free time” said Crown Golf CEO Stephen Towers. “The sport can only grow if we meet this challenge, and across Crown Golf the Golf Development Professional now holds the key to increasing golf participation, and keeping people playing this great sport.”
Nick Pink, Chief Executive of England Golf, said: “We know it is essential to put the customer first if we are to grow the game of golf and it’s good to see Crown Golf taking these steps to enhance the experience of both members and new players.”
Rob Spurrier, who coordinates coaching across the Crown Golf group, said: “The best PGA Professionals are like the captain of a football team. Everybody knows their name, and which golf club they work at, for miles around. They can work miracles with your golf game and your confidence levels, and their personality sets the tone at the golf club. We’re putting them where they belong – among people – to fully use those core PGA skills for which they have spent years in training.”
The new GDP positions are already improving the member experience at Crown Golf clubs in many different ways. “This has freed up our top PGA staff to run extra activities such as weekly bunkers masterclasses or putting clinics, which have quickly become a popular attraction for members” said Spurrier. “Part coaching, part custom-fitting, part social event, they are a great way for our GDPs to help as many members as possible through the year.”
Crown Golf has also introduced new golf lesson-booking software throughout its venues, giving pupils world-class tools to manage their golf lessons and monitor progress, and has also introduced a new central tee time booking service which enables staff in club shops to spend more time with their customers.
Stephen Towers said: “From 2017, if you want to start, return to or improve your golf, the Golf Development Professional at your nearest Crown Golf venue will be your first and best port of call in the area.”
Crown Golf www.crown-golf.co.uk