17 Nov 2021 | Participation |
Numbers going north at North Adelaide
by Golf Australia
Each golf facility across the country is distinctively different, and you get a unique experience at each and every one of them. This can also be true for the introductory golf programs delivered there.
Golf Australia’s Jayden Zeinstra encourages facilities to tailor programs to the needs of their participants. “No two programs will ever be identical, and I think that is always going to be the case,” Zeinstra said.
“But I do think it’s important that we all take note of what others are doing well and think about how to take those learnings and work them into our own situations. It’s being able to adapt where the greatest success comes from”.
The success happening out at the North Adelaide GC is a great example of this.
Back in 2015 the club started up from scratch their first set of introductory programs. PGA Professional Jamie Clutterham was the driver of implementation, setting up a MyGolf junior program to begin with and expanding quickly into adult programs.
Being a public golf facility with three golf courses there was always a group or two around that included a few first timers. For Clutterham this was the light bulb moment.
“I observed many adults having their first go at golf by standing on the first tee. The risk of losing these people to the game after just one go was high. The importance of setting up an adult introductory program was obvious,” he said.
North Adelaide uses their great selection of facilities to their advantage. They now conduct Get Into Golf (adult) programs on all the practice facilities, the Par 3 golf course, and regularly on course over the two 18 hole golf courses.
Programs have now become so popular that waiting lists are not uncommon, and to meet demand they have also started setting up custom programs after enquiries from groups of friends.
While the facilities at North Adelaide GC might not be available at every golf course, it’s the structure they have in place that gives them success. A progressive structure that gives their participants a comfortable entry into the game.
“We try not to rush anyone into an advanced level of playing such as competition play. Allow them the time to become comfortable with the game, facility and processes of playing golf prior to pushing them into a space they will probably end up feeling uncomfortable in,” Clutterham said.
North Adelaide also holds regular social events on both the Par 3 course and north course. All their programs include free equipment and course access during and for a period following the clinics.
“We have found this has assisted with getting golfers out and more comfortable with the game earlier and in many cases been the difference between some participants continuing in the game at all,” Clutterham said.
The combination of regular social events, extended course access, and providing clear information on opportunities to continue at the facility has been the strongest link to retention and keeping more golfers in the game.
As a result, the club has seen many participants transition into regular attendance, both as social players and competition playing club members.
For more details about Get Into Golf visit: www.golf.org.au/getintogolf
For more details about MyGolf visit: www.golf.org.au/mygolf
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