Earlier this year, Crown Golf, the English Golf Union (EGU) and the English Women’s Golf Association (EGWA) raised £19,200 to provide free coaching for non-golfers in a move to remove barriers to the sport and increase the number of players in theUK- and their move is paying dividends.
During March and April of this year, 409 people took up free coaching places at 16 of Crown Golf’s 29 golf clubs, on the Crown Golf Academies “Discover Golf” programme.
Discover Golf is a pioneering coaching programme, which is aimed at giving the golfer a chance to learn all the different elements of golf at a pace that they choose. The participants had access to over 24 hours of coaching. In the course of the programme, people meet fellow players, which spurs them on to continue with the sport.
As a result of the free coaching sessions, 160 individuals have continued to play golf within Crown Golf’s facilities, equating to a 39 per cent known conversion rate to the sport.
The £19,200 was raised due to the match-funding by Crown Golf of a £600 grant per club given by the EGU and EGWA to 16 of Crown Golf’s clubs that they received for achieving “GolfMark” accreditation. GolfMark status is awarded by the EGU and the EWGA in recognition of junior and beginner-friendly golf facilities. The total number of Crown Golf clubs now GolfMark accredited is 25.
As the amount raised was so large, Crown Golf decided to do something different and significant with the money, and invested in what they see as the future of golf.
Rob Spurrier, Group Academy Manager at Crown Golf, said: “We are delighted with the outcome of our investment in free Discover Golf places. We were inundated with requests for places on the programmes, and overwhelmed by the fantastic attitude of all the players.
“There are many taster session-type coaching initiatives across the country, which often have a higher initial attendance, but we have never before seen such a huge take-up of the sport following a coaching initiative. We intend to run the same project across all Crown Golf clubs in 2012.”
Richard Flint, Golf Development Manager of the EGU, added: “Crown Golf’s Discover Golf initiative is unique, and is also clearly successful. We applaud their generosity in opening their doors to all comers. It is a testament to the skills and dedication of Crown’s coaching staff that so many people are continuing to play golf after their initial free lessons. We hope to see similar figures in the years to come.”
Crown Golf Academies is a growing network within the award-winning Crown Golf group – www.crown-golf.co.uk – which has 29 UK golf facilities and 48 golf courses in its portfolio. With pride in customer service and innovation, Crown Golf (established in 1994) aims to provide an outstanding golf experience for its members and visitors, tailor-made to suit the lifestyles and needs of a wide range of golfers.