Golf shorts: North-East targeted to get more golfers playing the game

GOLF clubs across Durham County Union are backing National Golf Month by offering activities to support the drive to get more adults playing the game.

National Golf Month will be held across Britain in May and Durham’s clubs and ranges will offer a wide range of opportunities to attract and retain beginners and returners in regular participation.

They include the opportunity to learn golf in a month for only £25 with five group beginner lessons at more than 12 venues throughout the county.

National Golf Month is a major campaign to offer beginners and 100,000 lapsed golfers opportunities to try the game. Jonathan Ward the Durham County Development Officer, said: “We’re very excited about National Golf Month event because Durham has so much to offer beginners and those who have played in the past but for many reasons left the sport.

“Our golf clubs and driving ranges are passionate about encouraging people to get into golf and are doing their best to break down some of the barriers associated with golf.”

The nominated Get into Golf adult starter centres are: Billingham; Bishop Auckland; Blackwell Grange; Brancepeth Castle; Chester-le-Street; Hartlepool; Oakleaf; Ramside; Roseberry Grange; Sharpley; Sunderland; Tyneside; Wearside and Whickham.

IAN Mullins, rapidly approaching his first million page impressions on his website TheSocialGolfer.com, bristles when you suggest he could be the Mark Zuckerberg of golf.

At a time when the Golf Club Managers' Association have released figures revealing there are over twice as many “nomads” among the 4.2m golfers in Great Britain and Ireland than there are members of clubs, Mullins has been ahead of that particular game for three years and is now casting his eyes towards the North-East.

His website has grown to the extent that members can arrange games with over 8,000 golfers worldwide. They can browse the website for free, also gaining access to a database of 25,000 golf courses, join in forum debates, read course reviews and book tee times on line.

“I prefer to think of us as more of a genuine social network than Facebook,” he said. “In our case, you actually leave your PC, get off your backside and go out and make new friends on the golf course, and meet old ones.

“We appeal primarily to golfers who like to play different courses and who don’t take the game so seriously they have to check the length of their socks before the leave the house.”

For a fee of £20 a year, golfers can upgrade to the PRO account membership on his website. This enables members to post games anywhere inviting other members to join them for a round, sometimes at a discount.

They can enter competitions, track their TSG handicap, contact other members via email, and compete in a monthly leaderboard to win prizes.

Mullins said: “My ambition is to make this the biggest golf club in the UK within five years.”

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