Scottish Golf’s Awareness Week gained momentum with the launch of the ‘Love Golf? Join the Club’ campaign on April Fools Day at Hilton Park Golf Club.
The joint SGU and SLGA campaign which was recently boosted by a £10,000 grant from the R&A, is the first of its kind and aims to promote the benefits of golf club membership, while helping clubs recruit and retain members.
In a break from tradition, SGU and SLGA executives sported jeans and T-shirts to demonstrate the sort of thinking which is helping clubs widen their appeal to a new target audience.
At a press conference officials of Hilton Park and Swanston New, another of the clubs that have embraced Golf Awareness Week, outlined some of the methods they have used in recent years to build their memberships at a time when the trend has been toward declining membership across Scotland.
Scottish Golf development manager Andy Salmon, who is spear-heading this campaign, said, “The majority of clubs are already using our free of charge service within the SGU web-site, to market themselves and there are currently 300 clubs advertising membership vacancies. This is helping to break down the myth that clubs are difficult to get into because of closed memberships or lengthy waiting lists when many are actually actively looking to recruit new members.
“Swanston New and Hilton Park are great examples of clubs that are reaping the benefits of innovative thinking by adopting a more customer focussed approach to their membership. What we are keen to do is provide as many examples as possible of best practise so that other clubs can choose what best suits their particular needs.
“We are not suggesting that many clubs are likely to start allowing members or guests to turn up in T-shirt and jeans, but the purpose of today’s event was to invite them to think differently about how they promote themselves to a wider market, specifically targeting the nomadic golfer A more relaxed dress code is just one example of a successful change in golf clubs.”
Lynn Kenny, one of Scotland’s leading female professionals on the Ladies European Tour who was supporting today’s launch, added, “The Love Golf? Join the Club campaign is a great idea for Scotland’s clubs. Being a member of a golf club is a fantastic way to make life-long friendships and is often great value for money compared to other leisure pursuits.
“Attitudes within golf clubs have changed significantly for the better towards women and families and I’m sure this campaign will help attract many new members whilst also convincing existing members that they should remain at their club.”
Scottish Golf Union www.scottishgolfunion.org