Golf clubs on the Isle of Man are ready to get down to business – after enjoying expert advice to point them in the right direction.
More than 45 administrators and influencers from the island’s eight golf clubs attended a special Business Growth Forum at Comis at Mount Murray Golf Club.
The all-day event – aimed at owners, committees, golf professionals, green keepers and those who manage golf clubs – was organised and presented jointly by England Golf and Isle of Man Golf.
Jason Budd, England Golf’s Regional Manager with responsibility for the Isle of Man, introduced Jane Carter of Golf Unlimited, who went through the intensive programme with the delegates.
Jane has more than 30 years’ experience within the golf industry after starting the popular Women & Golf magazine and later becoming editor of Golf Monthly.
England Golf has now successfully helped hundreds of golf clubs to develop their recruitment and retention plans in order to generate more interest in playing the game and membership.
The aims of the Forum were to help the island clubs review and improve their activities to build new business and develop the sport further.
Key themes were stronger clubs, more members and more players. Each of the clubs was asked to analyse their goals and expectations and work with each other to promote their services.
Jane told clubs that working together yields better results for all, declaring: “When the tide rises, all the boats float!”
Melanie Jansen, Isle of Man Golf’s Development Officer, who will now help support clubs as they formulate and implement their future plans, said: “In a population of just over 80,000 on the Isle of Man, sustaining eight golf courses is difficult, given the changes in demographics and use of leisure time.
“It is clear there are probably up to 1,000 people out there who have either played golf before or are willing to learn, and could become potential new members of golf clubs if the experience at the club was good.
“Changing how we play the game, more 9- hole competitions, family days and multi-use of facilities all mean that footfall at any club could be increased if the club is open to new ideas.
“There is much work still to do, but golf is a very social sport with many health benefits, and Isle of Man Golf, in partnership with England Golf, will do all it can to help clubs develop their services.”
Attracting more visiting golfers to the Isle of Man was a topic of great interest, and examples of where a directed campaign has worked well in Wales and Scotland were discussed.
“Increased engagement with Government and those in the travel industry would be an essential ingredient and this, too, will now be pursued,” added Melanie.
Richard Power, Isle of Man Golf’s Safeguarding Officer, also gave a presentation on the reasons for, and importance of, a safeguarding policy for all clubs. Richard has written Isle of Man Golf’s Safeguarding Policy and is meeting with the clubs individually to discuss and assist in implementing these very important procedures.
Anyone seeking further information should contact Isle of Man Golf president Geoff Skillicorn (firstname.lastname@example.org or 07624 477602), or Melanie Jansen (email@example.com or 07624 223355).
Isle of Man Golf president Geoff Skillicorn added: “It was a very successful day for all those who attended, and Isle of Man Golf would like to thank the participants for their time and commitment to the future success of golf in the island. Grateful thanks to all at Comis at Mount Murray for kindness and service in hosting this event, all of which was much appreciated.”
England Golf www.englandgolf.org