Next month one of the country’s leading golf centre groups will use a vibrant, month-long Golf Festival to forge links with local communities, and bring hundreds of first-timers to golf.
At seven Glendale Golf centres across the UK, from Portsmouth in the south to Chorley in the north, teams of golf centre staff will be encouraging local residents to visit their centre for the first time. Each centre’s goal is to interact with at least 100 absolute first-time visitors during August, whether for a golf lesson, a fun golf-themed event, or a session on the driving range.
Each centre will also invite local community leaders to come and meet them, to discuss how golf can spread through the area – whether through schools, youth clubs, community centres or at the Glendale Golf centre itself.
Golf Camps and free rounds of golf for youngsters, free beginner golf lessons, FootGolf events, Ladies’ Days, Fun Days for the family and more are being lined up at each golf centre.
Older first-timers are not being forgotten, either, with each venue making a special effort to encourage senior citizens to discover how a golf centre can be a relaxing and sociable place – with how well you can play the game being of secondary importance.
“100 people per golf centre may not sound like a large number, but think about it” said Tom Brooke, Operations Director of Glendale Golf. “If it’s a young person, then family members will probably help them get to the golf centre. Once they are there, there’s a good chance they will pop in and perhaps get inspired to have a go themselves. Then there’s the word of mouth afterwards, whether on social media or in the pub with friends. Each person who tries golf for the first time at a Glendale golf centre in August will almost certainly share the experience at least six others – if we make it a good experience. That’s the local snowball effect we are trying to create, at each of the seven locations.”
He continued: “Getting the local community leaders to our golf centres during August is also a big goal of ours. Each area has its inspirational figures, and they can come from any age group, or social circle. What matters is that people feel welcomed by a Glendale Golf centre, and our energetic teams are determined to meet people from all walks of life at their place during the Golf Festival.
“We believe that a golf centre should be a welcoming place, accessible to absolutely everyone, without snobbery or barriers. We’re banishing the stereotypical stuffy image of the sport from our establishments. And it’s not just about inspiring an individual: ideally, we are setting out to change how our golf centres are viewed by the whole community”.
The seven Glendale Golf centres holding a Golf Festival in August 2015 are Tilgate Forest Golf Centre in West Sussex; Richmond Park Golf Course and Beckenham Golf Course in London; Portsmouth Golf Course in Hampshire; Edwalton Golf Centre near Nottingham; Duxbury Park Golf Course in Chorley; and Castle Point Golf Course on Canvey Island in Essex.
As examples of next month’s activity, Tilgate Forest GC has partnered with Crawley Wellbeing, the Golf Foundation, UK FootGolf, Tilgate Park and Crawley Borough Council to put on a series of golf-related activities for its local community. In the north, Duxbury Park GC is launching the Junior Golf Player Series with The Golf Foundation, and Edwalton GC near Nottingham is working with the Nottingham Golf Partnership and UK FootGolf as well as running summer camps in the Passport to Golf scheme.
“Over the last two years, our golf centres have all raised their quality standards” said Brooke. “We are proud of this, and August’s Golf Festival will be a great opportunity for our teams to show off the fruits of their hard work. For example Richmond Park and Tilgate Forest have both recently made course improvements and built new clubhouses”.
Glendale Golf Festival www.glendalegolf.co.uk