Date: May 23, 2007

Case Study: Lonsdale ‘Give Golf a Go’ to Increase Membeship

Lonsdale Golf Club recently signed up 26 new women members a great outcome from their Lonsdale Learners Program. The Lonsdale Learners program was the final step in a number of activities held at the club to attract women to take up the game of golf. Give Golf a Go The Womens Golf Victoria (WGV) program, Give Golf a Go, funded via a grant obtained by WGV from VicHealth, is a Three Step Program comprising Come and Try Day , Coaching Clinics and Play Day held over a period of 6 weeks. It requires the support of club management, the club professional and club members. Click here for more information regarding the Give Golf a Go program Program Implementation The first step in the program was held on Sunday December 10 when women were invited to Come & Try . Louise McDonald, WGV Project Officer, attended on the day to assist with the organisation. This day attracted approximately 100 women, 88 of whom completed WGV survey forms and registered for follow-up coaching clinics (Step 2). The final step was Play Day when the participants had an opportunity to play some holes on the course, 59 people were still involved in the program at this stage. Program Outcomes The WGV survey results showed that the most successful method of attracting women to the program was through personal contact (friend, family etc), the second most effective was the local newspapers and the third was via the letterbox drop. The majority of participants were in the 35 74 age groups. WGV considers the high level of Lonsdale Golf Club member involvement and support was a key factor in the success of the program. Lonsdale Learners Program As a follow-up to the Give Golf a Go program an offer was made to all participants to join Lonsdale Learners , a program comprising 10 games of golf (playing for 2 hours) on either Thursday or Sunday at a cost of $80 per player, 38 women enrolled in this program. The program commenced in January 2007. Program Implementation Each group accompanied by a Buddy was assisted in playing the game, learning the rules and understanding the etiquette. During the first month the players progressed from playing 4 holes in 2 hours to completing 9 holes. During the second month they were provided with information on some of the important rules, standards of etiquette and how to score. They also played without Buddies to allow them to get a feel for the real game of golf. During the final weeks, they were given a 45 handicap and taught how to score Stableford, with a ball for the best score. At the end of the 10-week Lonsdale Learners program, Women’s Captain, Jill Leonard, presented Certificates to each participant, and gave the players more information about joining the Club and how to participate in Club Competitions. Program Outcomes 26 Players joined the club at the completion of the program, (including 2 juniors). These members have now obtained club handicaps and are playing in competitions on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. Anecdotal comments from the participants in the Lonsdale Learners program have been very positive. Players regularly commented on the friendliness and help provided by members, the supportive approach of the buddies and the ambience in the clubhouse. At Club level, support from members of the organising committee, the women’s golf committee and women golfers was unfailing and enthusiastic The 26 new members represents a 16% increase in the number of GOLFLink registered women players at Lonsdale, pleasing result for the Club. As a result of the success of Lonsdale Learners the club is giving consideration to implementing a similar program for juniors. Click here for more information regarding the Give Golf a Go program