Golf clubs across England can now tap into a wide range of resources in order to launch their own volunteer ‘buddy’ scheme for new golfers.
In particular, clubs will be able to call on England Golf to stage ‘buddy workshops’ at their facility.
These workshops, run by knowledgeable England Golf club support officers, will teach existing members – already enthusiastic about the club they love – how best to support the journey of newcomers at their facility.
Clubs should not underestimate the powers of positivity that can be generated by existing members when it comes to the golfer recruitment process.
Golfers new to a club and unsure of their surroundings will quickly get into the swing of things with a designated buddy by their side and soon be ready to enjoy everything the sport has to offer.
England Golf’s nationwide network of CSOs are on hand to help clubs access a range of resources and advice including recruitment support, editable posters, role descriptions, role guidance and provision of a buddy workshop model.
Clubs that already have introduced volunteer buddies for new golfers have found that it makes a huge difference to the settling-in process.
Not only is any newcomer sure to feel an immediate benefit from having a friendly face to show them the ropes, they are also more likely to take up full membership.
They may even encourage their friends to join them if they have a wholly enjoyable experience from the minute they arrive at the front door.
Matt Bloor, England Golf’s volunteer manager, said: “There is always great excitement whenever you join a new club or start playing a new sport for the first time.
“Sometimes, though, it can also be a bit daunting.
“That’s where a buddy scheme can really make a huge impact. Experienced golfers take for granted the way their club operates, but everyone else has to find their feet.
“Having a knowledgeable and friendly buddy on hand can really help to break the ice.
“Sometimes new golfers do not want to trouble the professional staff with every little query. They may not have the confidence just to approach a stranger in the clubhouse.
“It can be something simple as learning your way about the locker rooms and clubhouse, using the practice ground facilities and signing in at the pro shop.
“Having a buddy assigned to new golfers also helps get them out onto the course quickly, meet a new social group and start to get a buzz out of playing.
“Golf clubs work incredibly hard to recruit new members and make their club as attractive as possible – but making sure they feel relaxed once they are through the door is just as important.
“Golf clubs can be daunting places if you don’t know anyone or aren’t a confident player.
“We’ve found members are more than willing to be a buddy, as it’s not too onerous a job.
“A lot of golfers are justifiably proud of their club and these individuals are priceless when it comes to creating a positive impression.”
For more details on England Golf resources, clubs should contact their CSO or click here for more details on the volunteer buddies scheme.