GOLF Express, which encourages busy people to play all the game in half the time, has smashed the 1,000 barrier in just two months.
The campaign promotes nine-hole golf and has proved a quickfire success since it was launched in Staffordshire in May. Already, more than 1,000 people have taken advantage of nine-hole green fees and after-work roll-ups.
They include Spencer Williams of Barlaston Golf Club, who remarked: “I think Golf Express is brilliant because it fits in with people’s busy lifestyles and definitely fits mine!”
Chris Jones, from Westwood Golf Club, added: “Golf Express is what golf needs. It fits not only with time, but also cost and makes it more accessible for me to play more on a weekly basis.”
Golf Express is being backed by 23 clubs across Staffordshire, offering nine-hole green fees and a loyalty card. In addition, 13 of the clubs offer the opportunity to play in weekly, after-work roll-ups, which are open to non-members and non-handicappers.
The initiative has captured widespread attention and been featured on Sky Sports TV as well as local radio and national golf media. Gareth Shaw, Staffordshire county development officer, said: “The response to Golf Express has been fantastic with more than 1,000 people getting involved and clubs across the county offering a new way into the sport for people trying to juggle the demands of family and work life.”
Cheshire-based Iain Lancaster, regional manager for England Golf, added: “The time it takes to play the game is a barrier to the sport. We want to get out the message that clubs are making it possible to play shorter rounds of golf to suit your available leisure time and this will appeal to players new to the game, existing golfers and even lapsed golfers.”
Golf Express is part of an England Golf project which is trialling innovative ways of increasing golf club membership and participation in the sport. It recognises that most people’s leisure time is reducing and for many it can be as little as two hours a day. Research from Syngenta, the golf course turfcare specialist, shows that 54% of golfers are intimidated by 18 holes of golf and a nine-hole option gives the golfer choice.
The clubs involved in Golf Express are: Barlaston, Bloxwich, Branston, Calderfields, Cannock Park, Darnford Moor, Dartmouth, Druids Heath, Izaak Walton, Lakeside, Lichfield, Mark Butler Golf Academy, Newcastle, Onneley, Oxley Park, Perton Park, Stafford Castle, Stone, The Chase, Trentham Park, 3 Hammers, Uttoxeter and Westwood.
To find out more visit getintogolf.org/golfexpress or call 0800 118 2766. Golf Express players at Druids Heath Golf Club, Staffordshire.