A new information service for Irish golf clubs has been launched that provides a single outlet for clubs, societies and governing bodies to share their news and event information.
The objective of The Irish Golf Club Gazette is to provide a single channel for all golf club information – including the men’s, women’s and junior clubs – so that all activities are communicated inside and outside the club, an invaluable resource for those that do not have access to a Blog, Facebook page or Twitter account.
“Given the increased importance of social media and internet based communication at all levels in our life we believe this initiative is supportive of the needs of golf clubs at this time,” explained Ted Higgins, former Head Professional and Assistant Director of Golf at Mount Juliet.
“The service has grown out of our experience with FORE Ireland and the response by golf clubs to share their news updates,” continued Higgins “We see The Irish Golf Club Gazette as a more focused product for golf clubs – who, it has to be said – are facing challenges in maintaining memberships at this time.”
The most recent nationwide research conducted by Farrell Grant Sparks indicated that course maintenance (40 per cent) was the largest cost factor for clubs with a significant amount of debt, especially with the newer clubs who would have made large capital investments in the last 10-15 years.
The report also found a clear need for strategic planning, and suggested that many clubs require help in addressing strategic issues but fewer than two in every three clubs had a strategic plan in place for 2010. Of those that did, 64 per cent saw their membership numbers increase despite the general trend.
“An additional challenge highlighted in the survey was that only a limited number of golf clubs have a dedicated sales and marketing professional managing their needs and with the current focus on reducing costs, this is likely to decrease.” said Higgins.
The Irish industry has the capacity to support over 23 million rounds of golf in a given year; however, the analysis shows that, at most, 14.7 million rounds were played in 2009, which indicates a level of under-utilisation over 30 per cent.
“The initial focus of The Irish Golf Club Gazette is to improve communications within the golf sector and offer outlets for all the information currently available by using our three dedicated websites, with PR support where needed, along with visibility on Facebook and on Twitter.” concluded Higgins.
The Irish Golf Club Gazette will be a subscription service with differing levels of service available in order to tailor to the specific needs.
Irish Golf Club Gazette www.irishgolfclubgazette.blogspot.com