At last..a governing body funded campaign to drive participation in golf
John Woodroffe, Master Professional at World of Golf London, celebrates the launch of Get into Golf
At World of Golf, through our free beginners group golf lessons we have been at the sharp end of getting more people into golf and trying to make the game more available to all. So the recent re launch of the England Golf “Get into Golf” campaign does nothing but fill our hearts with joy. The timing also couldn’t be better to coincide with the most eagerly awaited Masters for many years. With a resurgent Tiger, the prospect of him going down the stretch fighting for the coveted green jacket against the guys that took his place in his forced absence of the past few years, is an enticing one.
Golf has been its own worst enemy for so many years now. The general public still perceive it as elitist, sexist, and unwelcoming. Anything that helps to rewrite that narrative has got to be welcomed, and if bright colours on marketing will help them I am all for it. Golf has been stuffy for so long, it could do a lot worse than follow the process that other sports have done, to make itself more appealing.
Many years ago, so many people got into golf because they saw the game on BBC, namely the Pro Celebrity Golf series. Seeing your favourite personalities playing the game in beautiful surroundings with charismatic golf professionals in a fun and relaxed environment was a recipe for success. Modern day heroes, vloggers and social influencers as they are called these days, trying the game out, is also a stroke of genius. When people see celebs that they follow, in whatever medium, doing something and advocating it, then they will feel it is ok to try themselves. Most first-timers enjoy the game. I like to use the mantra that golf is like sex. You don’t have to be good at it to enjoy it.
The health benefits of the sport are well documented. Plus, it’s a game that can be played to a ripe old age, there is no need for 21 other players and you can be as competitive as you like. But sadly, an outdated image of the game, has not helped us. So, for me, yes, an image change is long overdue. At World of Golf London, we have been doing our bit for many years, breaking down barriers, treating customers as equals and avoiding silly rules. Any help we can get from the game’s governing bodies is much appreciated.
Another thing I would recommend looking out for next month, is the Golf Sixes being played in St Albans: a great fun, mixed team format.
It has taken a while, but, with Get into Golf, there are now signs of real momentum, generated by multiple stakeholders, to drive participation in this great game of ours.