Watching this video really made me think about the situation in golf at the moment and a similar film could easily be made relative to the game.
The game is struggling at the moment, that’s no surprise and no secret, but there’s very little being done about it. There are many reasons given for the decline in memberships of golf clubs and numbers coming in to the game, lots of people are having lots of meetings, which are unfortunately very similar to meetings they’ve been having for years.
Rather than dwell on too many negatives, there are solutions, plenty of them and they don’t involve cutting rounds of golf to 12 holes, making the holes bigger or kicking the ball instead of stroking it gracefully with a golf club. The good news is, there’s nothing wrong with the game, it’s one of the best sports their is, one that offers players everything they could want. Fitness, health, friendship, competition and challenge are just a few qualities, the list is almost endless.
Okay, every year the golfing bodies come up with their annual initiatives to ‘get into golf’, ‘start, stay, succeed’ and ‘learn to play in May’, which are all well intentioned, well meant and quite well publicised. So why isn’t the game growing in numbers?
I my humble opinion, based on years of research and front line knowledge and direct experience, one of the main reasons the game is not growing in participant numbers, many of the key stakeholders don’t know what to do or how to do it.
There is a formula for growth, a recipe for success, but like pure math, if something’s not correct or not in the right place, it doesn’t work effectively. As a golf professional for nearly 30 years, I have brought thousands of new golfers to the game, especially young golfers.
There are some wonderful pros and coaches out there, but there are too many sitting around waiting for change to happen. I speak to those who say, “there aren’t any kids to teach around here’ and I pass the school sign as I drive away from the club. There are those who admit to not liking teaching youngsters, those who think this part of the market is for their assistants to practice coaching on and some who tried once and because all the pupils didn’t joi the club, have given it up as a waste of time.
It is the proactive pro linked to a family-friendly club with a forward thinking club manager that will turn things around. Some clubs have it and are thriving, those that don’t are withering in the shade.