Young golfers initiatives launched at Exeter Golf and Country Club
Exeter Golf and Country Club has launched new initiatives to encourage more young people to play golf and help reverse the national decline in young golfers.
Reports by England Golf and the English Golf Union demonstrate the decrease in golfers aged under 30 years old. Both organisations recommend strategies to help golf clubs rectify this and future proof talent in the sport, along with increasing the overall number of golf members nationally.
At present, less than 10% of the 650 golf members of Exeter Golf and Country Club are aged between 18 to 30 years old. The club, which has enjoyed great success with a number of junior golfers, is offering an extension of their young person’s membership category to encourage such talent to stay with the historic club.
A biennial survey by Sports Marketing Surveys Inc. for England Golf reports that the average club has 499 members, 77% of whom are adult males, over 50% of the total are aged over 55 years with less than 25% aged under 35. Many clubs nationally are now offering a lower rate to encourage this age group to stay playing golf despite the usual draws on finance and time, experienced during these years.
Young golfers initiatives launched at Exeter Golf and Country Club include a lower membership rate, no joining fee and a planned schedules of junior golf programmes in the local area.
Exeter Golf and Country Club are tackling this issue head on by offering a lower golf membership rate of just under £50 a month for golfers under 30 years old, along with a no joining fee offer saving of £300, which is applicable to all. All memberships at Exeter Golf and Country Club also include swimming.
Chris Jones, General Manager of Exeter Golf and Country Club said, “We know how important it is to keep our young golfers as members of the club and we want to make it easier for them to stay or join. By keeping the price of their membership on a level with gym membership, for instance, we are helping those younger golfers maintain their skill and passion for the game, along with their ability to play for the club they support. Many of our golfers have played at the club since they were children and now their grandchildren play, we want to continue this tradition for as long as we can.”
According to England Golf’s strategic plan, ‘Raising our Game’ the 45 to 54 age group has stabilised, while the over 55 year old group is growing. The decline in younger golfers has been a constant trend since 2009 when there were 95,700 golfers in the UK aged between 16 and 25. By 2013, this figure had dropped to 52,400.
In a report on 30th January, Golf Monthly magazine stated, “Clubs should take a long-term approach to their overall health offering heavily discounted rates with incremental increases in subscriptions and a cheaper country membership option.” Exeter Golf and Country Club already offer a country membership option, along with senior golfer discounts and a junior membership that includes all sports at the club.
Chris Jones summarises their approach to stimulating growth in their younger membership categories, with a quote from Golf Monthly, “All industries rely on new talent and golf is no different. Attracting people to the game is fundamental in ensuring its progression in a dynamic, fast-paced and modern environment.”