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Shorter courses, fast-track learning and relaxed dress codes could boost junior golf, new report finds

New research offering insights into how more young people could be encouraged to play golf has been published by Syngenta.

With The 2014 Junior Ryder Cup set to tee off at The Blairgowrie Golf Club, Scotland, September 22-23, the report sheds light on the important role of family and schools in introducing young people to golf, and how factors such as affordable equipment rentals, shorter courses, fast-track learning, relaxed dress codes and friendly, social environments could help clubs recruit and retain young players.

The report, The Opportunity to Grow Golf: Youth Participation, which is free to download from www.greencast.co.uk, is based on specialist qualitative research with golfers and non-golfers in the 14-15 and 17-18 year age groups.

The findings, which have been welcomed by the leading children’s golf organization, The Golf Foundation, are designed to help clubs and courses identify potential solutions to retain current junior golfers and attract new players.

Syngenta Head Turf & Landscape EAME, Simon Elsworth, said: “While some of the responses from the series of focus groups might have been expected, listening carefully to what young people have to say about sport and golf, what interests them and what would engage them further is enlightening.”

“In many ways, what youth say about golf in terms of its friendliness (spending time with friends and family; customer service) and flexibility (opportunity to play 9-holes rounds; dress codes) is consistent with what many existing golfers and prospective players say and want.”

Simon Elsworth added: “From a business perspective, youth participation is an important strategic opportunity for golf as a sport and a business. Giving young people opportunities to engage in golf in a way that will enable them to enjoy the many benefits it offers as a sport and social activity will help develop long-term participants and customers.”

Brendon Pyle, Development Manager and Acting CEO of the Golf Foundation said: “This report is greatly appreciated by the Golf Foundation. It confirms much of our own understanding of young people and their perception of golf whilst also offering new insight into ways of recruiting and retaining more young people in the sport.”

“Reassuringly, several of the factors identified by the study to encourage young people to start golf are already being applied by the Golf Foundation and its partners.”

Syngenta’s golf market research is designed to provide clubs and courses with information that will help them make customer-focused decisions to maximize market opportunities and deliver long-term business benefits.

A second report The Opportunity to Grow Golf: Female Participation will be published this autumn.

For more information and previous studies, including ‘Growing Golf in the UK’ (2013), visit www.greencast.co.uk.

Syngenta is one of the world’s leading companies with more than 28,000 employees in over 90 countries dedicated to our purpose: Bringing plant potential to life. Through world-class science, global reach and commitment to our customers we help to increase crop productivity, protect the environment and improve health and quality of life. For more information about us please go to www.syngenta.com.

Author

Graham J Gordon, The Editor and Owner, GolfblogspotUK

The GolfblogspotUK website is owned and run by former Walker Cup player and European Tour card holder, Graham J Gordon, from Scotland, the Home of Golf. The owner is a golf fanatic who had to retire early from competitive tour play due to a back injury that required surgery. Graham wishes to share his knowledge and own experiences of the game with the GolfblogspotUK community and to receive your feedback on all aspects of the sport. Graham has been playing the game for over 20 years and received a great deal of pleasure from the sport. He has met several friends and visited many different places around the world, thanks to playing the great game of golf. Time to put a little back into the game to help others.

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