love.golf, a new female commercial golf coaching programme led by PGA Professionals, is set to launch in spring 2016. The franchise is being headed-up by award-winning PGA Professional Alastair Spink with the support of Syngenta.
Based on Spink’s academic study into gender in sports coaching and Syngenta’s groundbreaking market research into female participation in golf, a pilot programme at 12 golf courses during autumn-winter 2015 proved both insightful and commercially successful.
The project will now be expanded to target 50 PGA Professionals and forward-thinking golf venues in 2016.
“love.golf is very different to traditional golf coaching,” explained Alastair Spink, who is based at Fynn Valley Golf Club, Suffolk. “It’s about learning together and getting out onto the golf course as soon as possible, not spending hours hitting golf balls on the range. The teaching approach is also very different with coaches avoiding lots of technical interventions and instead offering on-course guidance and encouragement.
“The market research we conducted during the love.golf pilot programme shows that the women who participated said they enjoyed the sense of togetherness, the relaxed format, unexpected fun and felt their confidence was boosted by the experience.”
The PGA Professionals who participated, and who all received training from Alastair Spink, explained why they signed up for the love.golf pilot programme:
Many were surprised that the women learned faster and developed skills more effectively with the non-technical, play-based approach.
Alastair Spink continued: “Importantly, the PGA Professional benefits directly because they are making a good hourly rate from the six-week programme – and the customer is happy to pay a higher price for a credible, branded product that meets the specific needs of women and gives them an experience they consider good value for money.
“The golf course also stands to benefit and the venues that went out of their way to welcome their new female customers, in line with the findings of Syngenta’s market research, saw them gain from spending in the clubhouse and pro shop. A high proportion of customers expressed a high level of satisfaction with the programme and indicated they would continue with follow-on sessions and events, potentially making them long-term customers for both the PGA Professional and the venue.”
love.golf is being supported by Syngenta as part of the global company’s ongoing commitment to invest in golf from the ground up, including the development of innovative turf products, environmental sustainability and increased participation.
Simon Elsworth, Syngenta Head of Turf & Landscape EAME, said: “The extension of the love.golf pilot programme to 50 PGA Professionals and venues in the UK is the logical next step in transitioning our market research into positive action in the golf industry.
“Alastair’s unique approach and academic research chimes with the findings of our female participation surveys. The purpose of extending this pilot programme, and sharing the results with the golf industry, is to demonstrate how a customer centric approach benefits business sustainability and successfully retains customers for the long term.”
love.golf will launch in spring 2016. PGA Professionals and golf courses wishing to register interest in love.golf and take part in the programme should contact Alastair Spink at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07748 653002.