Golf: club wins new praise

A LOCAL club has been praised for the way it is going about getting people to join up for membership.Newton Green Golf Club has been congratulated for “thinking outside the box” by Steven Peet, regional development officer for the English Golf Union, who believes others could learn from the Suffolk club's approach.

A LOCAL club has been praised for the way it is going about getting people to join up for membership.

Newton Green Golf Club has been congratulated for “thinking outside the box” by Steven Peet, regional development officer for the English Golf Union, who believes others could learn from the Suffolk club's approach.

Although the number of golfers nationally has been rising in recent years, membership of clubs has been sliding, with the recession making the situation worse.

A recent Sport England survey revealed 948,000 people play golf at least once a week and 1.58 million once a month. Of the larger figure, only 28% are members of clubs.


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Altogether, it is estimated by the EGU around 2.5 million people play at least half a dozen times a year.

Mr Peet recently visited Newton to help asses the club's recruitment efforts and afterwards wrote to say he was impressed how much the club was already doing.

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He continued: “It is clear you are working extremely hard and in my opinion are working on the right things.

“In these difficult times for golf clubs and membership, it is vital that clubs are proactive in how they try to attract new members and retain their existing ones, and I was delighted to see that you are clearly doing this.

“It is also refreshing to see that you are prepared to think outside the box and try some more innovative ideas. If more clubs were prepared to do this I dare say they might not find themselves in such difficult positions.

“It is clear you have a great team driving the club forward, and I would like to thank you for your dedication and commitment.”

Paddy Lockwood, club chairman, said Newton was encouraged by Mr Peet's remarks. In the last year it had launched a raft of ideas to find new recruits and try to keep existing members happy. More than 90 newcomers had joined the ranks.

The next initiative would be a survey amongst the full membership to gauge customer satisfaction and gather ideas on how the club could continue to progress.

He said from January 1 it was offering 15-month full and Davey memberships for the cost of 12 months, plus a three-month trial membership costing only �100.

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