England Golf and Mytime Active – one of the UK’s largest pay and play golf course operator – are working in partnership to grow the game.
Initiatives are underway to attract more players from diverse backgrounds, to promote shorter formats of golf which fit into busy lifestyles, and to highlight the health benefits of the game.
Abbie Lench, England Golf’s Head of Club Support, said: “This project is gathering pace and it’s very exciting to be working in this way with Mytime Active. Our findings will help us to support clubs across the country to get more people playing golf and joining as members.”
Mytime Active has 16 pay and play golf courses in London, Kent, Hampshire, Sussex and the Midlands – and they are all involved in aspects of the project.
Bromley Golf Centre in South London has just become the first Golf Express-branded venue in the country. Golf Express is England Golf’s campaign to promote the 9-hole game to encourage busy people to play all the game in half the time.
Bromley, which has a 9-hole course and 25-bay driving range, highlights the message with its course furniture, flags and branding on the range.
In the Birmingham area, England Golf and Mytime Active are jointly funding a project to attract more people into golf from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.
It involves working with local communities and networks and uses Mytime Active’s beginner programme ‘Get Active in Golf’ which offers six-weeks of structured coaching for just £30.
This project will form the blueprint for future initiatives across the country to encourage more people from under-represented groups to try golf.
Players at all 16 Mytime Active golf courses are involved in a long-term health study, being undertaken with UK Active. It’s setting out to demonstrate the health benefits of golf and to support Sport England’s strategy to tackle inactivity.
As part of the study golfers are wearing heart monitors, using pedometers and providing a range of information, for example about their mental wellbeing. Their progress will be tracked weekly for a year.
In addition, all 16 Mytime Active sites will work towards GolfMark accreditation which includes Sport England’s Club Mark standard. This demonstrates their commitment to high standards of welfare, equity, coaching and their close connection to their communities.
Techniques to improve customer service satisfaction are also being piloted. Mapping software is also being used to help Mytime Active to target their potential customers and this information is supporting future development and investment.
Jason Stanton, Mytime Active’s Operations Director, said: “At Mytime Active we believe in doing golf differently, we want our facilities to be accessible for the whole community, supporting people to get more from life. Our partnership with England Golf is enabling us to realise this ambition, engaging new audiences and promoting the wider benefits of the game.”
England Golf www.englandgolf.org
Mytime Active www.mytimeactive.co.uk/golf