Golf Clubs in Stoke-on-Trent are getting together to support the drive to encourage more people into the sport.
A new Stoke-on-Trent development group has been launched with the intention of providing a united approach to the challenge of attracting and retaining new club members.
The idea is based on similar groups in the north-west covering Merseyside, Derby, Chesterfield and High Peak.
The clubs that were present at the first meeting were Trentham Park, Norton Bridge, Stone Driving Range, Barlaston, Onneley and Burslem, but with regular meetings now in the diary organisers hope to involve more of the golf facilities in the Stoke-on-Trent area.
All clubs within the region are welcome to attend the meetings, which will be held bi-monthly. The next meeting is on Wednesday, March 29, at Barlaston Golf Club.
The group has been established under the umbrella of the Staffordshire Golf Development Group and will be looking to support campaigns like Get into golf, Golf Express and Girls Golf Rocks as well as establishing ways to work together to their mutual benefit.
Said Ben Johnson, Staffordshire GDG county development officer: “It was a great meeting which saw numerous topics discussed, including working together to establish greater buying power with suppliers to help tackle the rising costs of running a golf club, how to target potential new golfers within the region, and opportunities for sharing services to help one another.
“Future meetings will be driven by demands of the group and will include guest speakers specialising in specific areas.”
Gareth Shaw, England Golf Regional Manager, said: “This is a major step forward to see clubs working collectively and sharing their successes and challenges, and being able to work together with a vision to grow and retain golfers in the Stoke-on-Trent area for years to come – it is a very proud moment.
“This wouldn’t have happened 10 years ago – clubs very much looked over their shoulders to see what other clubs were doing, but now they realise they are all in this together. There are enough golfers to go around with an estimated 6,000 people in Stoke-on-Trent who are playing golf, lapsed or latent within a 20 minute drive of the town.”
Get into golf is a national campaign to inspire new golfers run by the England Golf Partnership through its network of County Golf Partnerships, which work to grow the game.
Get into golf opportunities include free or low-cost beginner courses with PGA professionals. They are a fun and sociable way to start golf – and a great way to make new friends.
Get into golf getintogolf.org
Staffordshire Golf Development Group www.staffsgolfpartnership.com
England Golf www.englandgolf.org