The PGA of South Africa will this year intensify its drive to assist golf clubs in growing their membership base with the introduction of its new “Valuing the PGA Professional” programme at clubs around the country.
Since November last year, the PGA has been providing its member professionals with best practices that drive more participation in the game, including various new initiatives which they will be implementing at golf clubs across South Africa.
“Our aim is to help South African golf clubs realise where their true value lies, namely in their members and in their local PGA professional. Golf clubs need to realise that their biggest asset is their members not their facility,” says Ivano Ficalbi, the Chief Executive of the PGA of South Africa.
Under its new “Valuing the PGA Professional” initiative, the PGA is sharing international best practice with golf clubs about a process they believe will help clubs to create golfers, add members, retain golfers and create a bigger community spirit within the industry.
“The programme has been very successful in America. In their research there they found that only half the members of a golf club knew the name of their PGA professional, and only about 14% had ever had a golf lesson.
“What the PGA of America has seen is that members who are in a coaching programme with their local PGA professional are 100% more likely to remain members of the golf club than those who aren’t. And rounds of golf at these clubs increased by 20%.
“So it is quite obvious that there is a greater role that a club’s PGA professional can play, and greater scope for growth at golf clubs in this area.”
Ficalbi also believes the South African golf industry can play a greater role in promoting golf as a sport.
“I think more can be done in promoting the benefits of golf as a sport. We don’t talk enough about that in this country. And we will continue to provide our members with best practice and cutting-edge education to ensure that they keep driving the industry forward.”