For many years now there has been discussion after discussion about the best ways to take the game forward. Different methods of attracting youngsters and new people to the game have been banded about, and now England Golf, the English national governing body, has revealed its strategic plan that will run until 2017.
The main aims of the new and ambitious strategic plan are to tackle golf’s challenges and create an even brighter future for the sport by inspiring lifelong involvement in golf.
Golf makes a big contribution to the English economy, totalling £3.4 billion a year, but it is facing some serious challenges at the present time. The number of golf club members has been declining since 2004 and this has put a financial strain on many golf clubs, with the overall participation numbers declining steadily since 2007.
England Golf says this latest strategy ‘sets out ways to raise our game’ and to address the aforementioned challenges. It will inform the future work of the board, committees and staff of England Golf, the county unions, associations and county golf partnerships, the clubs and volunteers.
By 2017, England Golf hopes the strategy will:
- increase the number of people who play golf at least once a week from the baseline of 750,000 in 2014 to 910,000 by March 2017.
- Reverse the decline in club membership which has been occurring annually since 2005 and stabilise club membership at the July 2014 level of 675,000 members.
- Strengthen the talent development pathway from club to national level, leading to even more international success for English players.
- Improve communications, governance and partnerships at all levels within England Golf.
Developed by hundreds of individuals and organisations, the strategy has been built around the seven key themes or priorities that emerged strongly through the consultation process and which require co-ordinated action at club, county and national levels:
- More players: Increasing the number of players who play golf regularly.
- More members: Increasing the number of players in club membership
- Stronger clubs: Supporting clubs to attract and retain members and to achieve a sustainable business model.
- Winning Golfers: Identifying and developing talented golfers at every level, leading to international amateur success..
- Outstanding championships: Providing excellent championships and competitions for golfers of all levels.
- Improved image: Changing the perception of golf and improving communications within the sport.
- Excellent governance: Improving the governance, building the infrastructure and strengthening the partnerships to develop golf in England.
Read the England Golf Strategic Plan 2014-2017
Click here to read the full plan laid out by England Golf. The governing body is also open to any feedback, views and queries. These can be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org