Looking to get more kids interested in golf? You might want to pick the brains of the good people at Duff House Royal.
After a concerted effort to welcome more youngsters through its doors, the 110-year-old club now boasts a junior section of 96 in total.
“We have managed to create this large section over a couple of years of hard work, it wasn’t just something that came to fruition,” vice captain Barry Bertram told bunkered.co.uk.
“We have a good coaching programme, a good number of volunteers getting involved, taking the kids out. The juniors are getting out on the course and competing, they aren’t just practising all the time and that seems to resonate a lot better with them.”
Bertram divulged the route to success for the junior section, suggesting that clubs need to adopt a much more universal approach to appeal to families.
“We are really into the family-friendly approach in the clubhouse. We are not turning it into a crèche but we are allowing families to see that it’s ok to bring your family and kids in and have them in the clubhouse. That’s really helped us get more people about the club and then that feeds into getting more juniors into the section as well.”
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The vice captain also fired a message of warning to other clubs that to be able to attract new faces into clubs, historical traditions need to be broken.
“Clubs need to diversify and get away from dress codes and open up to families. We don’t have a dress code and we don’t have a limit on kids coming in.
“A lot of people don’t like juniors on the course. They’ve got restrictions on them in terms of they can only play at certain times, can’t do certain thing and are not allowed in certain areas. That’s not very attractive and it certainly doesn’t help.”
With Duff House Royal now welcoming in more and more juniors, the club is turning to volunteers to help them meet demand. Bertram believes it’s now time for golf to instil a parent helper mentality that has been present in other grassroots sports such as football.
“We are getting to a number now where we are going to be relying on a lot of volunteers coming in and we have had a lot of people come forward and show an interest. They are going to be helping us.
“You see that a lot more with local football teams where a lot of the parents help out with the team. That same kind of thing has probably been missing from golf if I’m honest, it’s never really seemed to catch on in the same way as in football. It’s time to get that mentality in place so we can get the help.”