A new guide to help golf clubs gain greater understanding of young people and to attract them into the sport has been produced by England Golf.
The potential is huge: England Golf research shows that in 2017, 67% of all young people took part in some form of golf activity. That’s about 5.35 million youngsters in England.
But at the same time, they’re turning their backs on golf clubs and traditional junior memberships are dropping.
Understanding Your Junior Market has been created to help reverse the trend. It forms part of a raft of measures identified in the wider national Children and Young People Plan “Growing the Game for the Future” which is supported by the Golf Foundation and the Professional Golfers’ Association.
The guide highlights ways to find out what young people want from golf and golf clubs – and what could put them off. It uses the specially created profiles of seven different types of youngster to show how they and their parents view golf.
A supporting video and online training are available to show clubs how to use the profiles to understand their current juniors and their families, create activities to attract new players, develop retention plans to keep their interest and market these successfully.
Lee Dolby, England Golf’s Young People Manager, commented: “Attracting young people in to golf is essential for the future of golf clubs and, to do that successfully, they need a better understanding of what young people want from their golfing experience.
“One size definitely does not fit all. Young people change faster than at any other time in life and what appeals to a six-year-old may not be right for a 16-year-old. But, many clubs still just offer one version of junior golf.
“We need to think about the individuals, their motivations and the barriers they encounter. Traditional membership is dropping among young people; that doesn’t mean they don’t want to belong and feel part of a club, it does mean they don’t like what clubs are offering.
“We want to work with clubs to create new and exciting ways to engage young people and inspire a love of golf which will last a lifetime.”
Emily Furniss, from Gaudet Luce Golf Club in Worcestershire is a Young Ambassador for England Golf and the Golf Foundation, and has written a message to clubs in the guide.
She comments: “Not everyone wants to be the next Rory McIlroy, some young people just want to belong, to make friends or play for fun. So listening to the opinions and needs of the next generation of golfers will broaden the appeal of the game.
“This booklet is a great starting place for clubs to understand their young customers and we hope you’ll use it to take positive steps to get more young people into golf.”
The new guide complements England Golf’s wider package of support for clubs, Understanding Your Market. This helps clubs retain members and identify potential new members by focussing on what their customers want.
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