May 26th, 2016
The curse of slow play
And what someone is doing about it
Words: John Dean
Glendale Golf – which operates seven public golf centres across the UK – has put three new initiatives into place with immediate effect, with its new ‘Get Ready Golf’ programme at the heart of their plans.
Widespread signage featuring the ‘Get Ready Golf’ slogan is now being displayed at all Glendale Golf centres, giving customers six friendly tips on time-efficient golf. Posters, banners and notices are prominent in clubhouses and pro shops, at reception desks, and on all first tees.
The group is also emailing more than 50,000 golfers, encouraging them to spread the word and to take personal steps to respond to the request.
Glendale Golf has also modified its tee-time booking system to allow for more 9-hole slots on weekdays.
There’s also a brand-new Glendale Golf 9-Hole Summer League to play in at all venues. It requires no official handicap or membership, and offers newcomers an informally-competitive stepping stone into the sport – as well as something fun to play in for more regular golfers.
The overall Glendale Golf 9-Hole Summer League winner from each venue will win a year’s membership.
“People come to our golf centres to have fun, so I promise you we’re not getting too heavy-handed about this!” said Tom Brooke, Managing Director of Glendale Golf. “However, we’re making Get Ready Golf part of our culture. It’s a long-term commitment, and we want everyone to buy into it.
“Since we run public golf centres, part of our responsibility is to help introduce newcomers to the sport – that’s what keeps it alive. We also need to encourage existing golfers to play more often. In our annual survey last year, our customers told us loud and clear that slow play is both a barrier to entry for newcomers, and a reason for traditional golfers to play less frequently.
“And it’s not just visitors to Glendale Golf centres who hate slow play of course. The subject has frequently come in other recent national golf surveys, so we are taking firm action.
“People just have insufficient leisure time, these days, for five-hour rounds. We’d all prefer it if a round of golf took an hour less – so at Glendale Golf we are all now geared up to attack this target.”