GolfMark brings positive benefit to golf clubs, according to a survey carried out by the English Golf Union (EGU) and English Women’s Golf Association (EWGA).
There are currently 333 golf clubs that have attained GolfMark and over 600 are in the process of accreditation for the EGU/EWGA scheme. GolfMark identifies and recognises junior and beginner-friendly golf facilities and incorporates Sport England’s ClubMark accreditation.
GolfMark clubs were asked to complete a survey and the results showed increased memberships, access to more funding/grants for coaching, and stronger links between clubs and schools and the community among those clubs who had achieved GolfMark. In addition, of those clubs taking part in the survey, 87% felt the GolfMark process had been beneficial (42% “very beneficial”/45% “beneficial”).
EGU and EWGA Golf Development Manager, Richard Flint, said: “We are very pleased with this feedback. GolfMark was designed to improve what clubs offer to junior and beginner golfers in line with the England Golf Partnership’s (EGP) vision to ‘Grow the Game’. We are delighted that after the hard work that those clubs have put in to achieve GolfMark, the vast majority of survey respondents believe the process has been beneficial.”
Other survey results indicated that 51% of respondents experienced an increase in membership, while 79% of clubs had created new links with schools, colleges or the wider local community. 33% felt the award had assisted in their recruitment of volunteers to help in player development.
The EGP partners have worked closely together to make progress in these areas. The EGU and EWGA are seeing results of coordinated club initiatives that welcome many new players. The Golf Foundation has transformed the culture of golf in schools working closely with PGA professionals and other EGP partners, while the PGA is helping partners to develop talent in clubs and the community with added support from more volunteers of all ages.
Some 57% of clubs believed they had enjoyed increased awareness/recognition in the local community and importantly 65% had received support from their membership whilst going through the process of accreditation.
The EGU and EWGA emphasize that their team of development officers are available to help golf clubs every step of the way with GolfMark, and 93% of respondents have maintained contact with their development officer following accreditation to continue to look for further ways to improve recruitment and retention of members.
GolfMark is open to any affiliated golf club and more information on the full range of benefits is available on the GolfMark website, www.golfmark.org.
GolfMark is an initiative jointly provided by the EGU and EWGA via the England Golf Partnership’s ‘Whole Sport Plan’ for golf and is an integral part of England Golf’s vision to ‘Grow the Game’.