Case Study - Charters Towers
Charters Towers Golf Club
After gold was discovered in 1871, the town of Charter Towers became the second largest city in Queensland. Once a virtual ghost town, much has been restored with the golf course being part of its revival. The course is 9 holes with two sets of tees and is recognised as a great layout. Green fees are reasonable at only $15.00 for 18 holes.
In 2009, the Club was going to through some tough times, membership was down and facility needed some work. Some individuals formed together with the objective of turning the Club around with a strategic plan. Since then the membership has grown from 60 active members to 140.
JUNIOR GOLF PROGRAM
Our last junior program was back in 2002; we actually had juniors from that program go on to be Club members and are still members today. Unfortunately, the program ended and we haven’t had one since. Part of our strategic plan was to redevelop a junior program which would attract families to the Club and eventually join as members.
Our last junior program ended because it was reliant on one person to keep it going. When that person left, the program flamed out. We now recognise this as a cardinal mistake and we hope to lay the foundation for a sustainable junior program for the future of our club as part of our business strategy.
Our greatest has always been to find a core group of volunteers to champion our junior program on a consistent basis. We found it difficult because most don’t feel competent to teach the game, even to children. They need to be given the resources and some training to feel competent to deliver.
A group of us went down to the Gold Coast back in 2011 to take a look at Golf Queensland’s MYGolf Program in action. We visited several clubs and were convinced that this is what our club needed to adopt. The program was structured while creating a fun learning environment for the juniors. We were all convinced that the MYGolf program could be implemented at our Club easily and provide the resources our volunteers needed to drive a successful program.
This is not an affluent area so we only charges $2.00 for each group session. We realise that we need to charge something to create value but we don’t want the amount to prevent anyone from taking up the game. The goal is to give them every chance at the game, investing in each child long-term with eventual junior club membership as our objective.
We allow the children to play golf with their parent after their lesson. The idea is to encourage these juniors to take up the game and we want the parents to help us. If the parents didn’t play golf, it became an added benefit and often resulted in the whole family taking up the game and joining the club.
Attracting the juniors into our program has been relatively easy. We use social media, bulk emails, and newspaper advertisements.
ADVICE & RECOMMENDATIONS
Do everything you can to recruit members. Encourage them to become a certified Community Golf Coach through Golf Queensland, it only takes one day and will give them the confidence they need to start helping juniors learn the game.
Use all the MYGolf recourses inside your program and make sure that your volunteers are utilising all the recourses available to them.
Keep their individual Skills Charts at the course and obtainable to coaches and students. A structured program will have heaps more value because your students are able to measure their progress and stay on track.
Vary the program so the students don’t get bored; try different formats varying the games to make them interesting and fun.
It’s vital that they get as much chance as possible to play on the course; kids get bored practicing if it doesn’t have quick application.
In a small town it’s hard to find a real PGA Professional who can coach. However, you may be able to find someone who will come on a monthly basis; you can charge the parents extra on the day to cover the cost.