England Golf boss: Dress codes will stop so many taking up the game

Golf News

England Golf’s re-launched Get Into Golf programme was designed to be provocative – and it definitely got people talking. Steve Carroll asked chief executive Nick Pink about its aims and why the sport should consider if dress is important

My fear is we have a traditional core of golf club members that are ageing, and a potential new generation put off from participating because the game is caught between two stools. How do you address that issue?

Once again, it’s down to the club to decide how to appeal to different groups.

We don’t say to clubs ‘you’ve got to change’ but we do challenge, in the right way, and share information and best practice to help them make and own their decisions.

It’s important to look at issues such as: Where is the club? What’s its position in the local community and golfing market? How strong is the club?

We should talk about positive ways of attracting and retaining members and not immediately highlight the barriers.

If the first thing I am thinking when I go to a club is ‘what do I have to wear?’ – rather than ‘let’s go and have some fun’ – we’re not doing the right thing, are we?

Get into Golf

Were you excited by the buzz that Get into Golf brought?

I’m not lying when I say I was nervous. You should be nervous about anything that’s new and different.

It’s great that we now have some 300 clubs signed up and we have thousands of activities online and people taking part.

Get into Golf is now a very focused campaign. We are targeting men and women who are 25 to 45-years-old– and we know these two groups have huge market potential for golf.

Yes, we have to cater for the 65 to 75-year-olds but we have got to start thinking about the 10, 15 and 25-year-olds coming into the sport.

What is Get into Golf?

Get into Golf aims to inspire people to give the sport a go by offering low-cost or free beginner activities at clubs across England.

In the last four years, more than 180,000 people have taken part in activities and over 22,000 of them have gone on to join clubs.

More than 300 clubs in England offer Get into Golf activities, which can be found and booked on the Get into Golf website.

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Pictures courtesy of Leaderboard Photography

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