Growth of game is focus for EGCOA


Sean Dudley

Another raft of speakers has been added to the European Golf Course Owners Association’s annual conference, which takes place in London from 1-2 December.

Growing the game has been an important theme for EGCOA throughout its history, and a number of the speaker will address this issue. Mike Hughes, CEO of the US National Golf Course Owners Association, will discuss his organisation’s ‘Take Your Daughter To The Course Week’ initiative, which has now been running for eleven years. The programme aims to redress the imbalance between girls and boys in other junior golf schemes (boys make up 84 per cent of all junior golfers). Last year, 1,500 golf clubs and 84,000 across the US people participated in the scheme.

A new grow the game initiative is ‘Discover Golf’, introduced earlier this year by Crown Golf, the UK’s largest course owner and operator. Discover Golf gives beginners access to unlimited group coaching sessions, plus free range balls, free play on the golf course during sessions and a discount on food and beverage for a fixed sum of £49.99 per month. The scheme launched with a seven day free trial, and Nick Moran, Crown’s sales and marketing director, will give the conference an insight into the early results.

Also announced to speak at the event are Henk-Jan de Boer from Dutch course operator Burggolf, who will discuss the company’s Flight4Friends tee time booking initiative, Kelli Jerome of the Golf Environment Organization, speaking on GEO’s new sustainable golf development guidelines, plus golf architects David Krause and Peter Harradine.