New ideas and approaches to grow golf

England Golf is launching an initiative to stimulate and encourage innovation and enterprise across the sport: #MoreThanGolf

It aims to accelerate and build on the considerable work which is already going on to develop new ways of engaging more people and broadening the appeal of golf.

Nick Pink, Chief Executive of England Golf said: “Since I joined the organisation a few months ago, I have been impressed with the number of innovators and entrepreneurs I have come across within the sport. People developing different, often shorter, versions, adding features and introducing new technology – it is all very exciting and England Golf has played its part in this.

“But I also think that we could do more to encourage new thinking within the sport at all levels, within England Golf, the counties, our clubs and among our partners. Changes in people’s lifestyles, consumer habits and expectations and their use of digital media are creating challenges and opportunities. We have to be ready to overcome the first and exploit the latter.”

He added: “We are very keen to hear from anybody within and outside golf with suggestions on how we can best support new ideas and initiatives to help grow golf and its impact on society.”

Key areas for #MoreThanGolf include:

  •  Encouraging clubs to develop better relationships within their communities, leading to more players, customers and members.
  • Helping clubs to develop a more welcoming approach to new formats of the game, which could attract new players.
  • Encouraging clubs and existing members to become even more welcoming to new people and groups from across society.
  • Working across the sport to promote better use of social and digital marketing tools for communication: going where people are and speaking their language.

Svend Elkjaer of Sports Marketing Network will drive the project forward for England Golf, working with the new Enterprise and Innovation Group and engaging with the organisation’s contacts across the sport.

Svend has considerable experience of working with community sports organisations to help them become ‘more vibrant, visible and viable’. He has also trained more than 4,000 community sports clubs across the UK and Scandinavia at his Grow Your Club workshop and club support programme. SMN’s extensive consultancy and conference work has given them a strong understanding of consumer and sporting developments, growth in use of digital media, the rise of the ‘demanding consumer’ and the whole issue of sports role in developing good.

A number of enterprise and innovation initiatives are being developed. Initially, the programme will include training and support of staff across England Golf to develop their understanding and skills of innovation and enterprise. This will enable them to better help and engage with local entrepreneurs and innovators and act as go-between with the Enterprise and Innovation Group.

The Enterprise and Innovation Group would like to hear your ideas, comments and thoughts. Please email innovation@englandgolf.org

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