How have we helped?
Established for a staggering 109 years, Houghton le Spring Golf club have developed their club in delivering golfing opportunities in the Tyne and Wear town, with a little help from ourselves.
Over the years the club has invested in improvements to the golf course and also into new equipment. We have supported some of the clubs investments from providing advice for the major course development through the inspired facilities funding, to recently providing the club with funding for some t-shirts for the 'wee wonders' who are the youngest potential golf players at the club.
Committee members, Ann and Mags are part of the driving force behind the club and manage some of the projects, events, programmes and memberships.
“We must say that we have had a great deal of help from Tyne & Wear Sport, from the first connection with the inspired facilities project, to the launch of Club Network, which keeps us up to date and in touch with the training and bursary opportunities.”
Some of the club’s successes
Ann and Mags have a real passion for the golf club and use this to make the club a success.
“With backing from our main committee, we endeavour to make the club a success by working hard to turn opportunities into secure plans and projects. We are passionate about what we do here at Houghton Golf Club and we are keen to push the club further.”
An example of this continued development is the club's aim to target schools to combine golf into their PE lessons. Teachers can bring their students along to the academy course and receive a one to one session with the Club PGA Professional.
Another example of how the club is developing is in how they market themselves. Marketing a sports club can sometimes be time consuming and expensive for example to pay for flyers or leaflets. We provided Ann and Mags with advice and guidance to develop their knowledge of social media and they used this to host a social media workshop for their members. The club has also changed their fixtures calendar from paper to online as it is easier to manage and access.
“Since our social media workshop, we have had members approach us and ask when the next one would be, so we have the demand there for more social media workshops. But the success of the event came down to us attending the Tyne & Wear Sport social media workshop which improved our knowledge of how to use social media.”
Current plans in place
The golf club is currently trying to raise funds for new drainage for the golf course to improve the all year round availability of the course. They are also looking into investing in junior indoor golfing equipment, to enable them to continue coaching sessions indoors during bad weather conditions.
The club is also currently working in partnership with another local golf club, to arrange an overnight golfing experience with nearby hotels and restaurants. In effect this will improve the local business economy value by networking with the local club.
In order to maximise membership levels, the club has introduced a number of membership programmes designed for everyone of all ages and abilities, including an Offshore Programme that enables people who work offshore for long periods of time the opportunity to participate in golf without taking out a full membership.
The club found that once juniors reached their age limit of 16 within the category, many players quit the sport or went to another club. They researched that this was because the next step to the intermediate level was expensive and the juniors would struggle with their ability to pay for the full membership. The club therefore introduced a membership rate that was more affordable to bridge the gap between the junior and intermediate categories.
Ann and Mags commented on the Academy Course, “Since we developed the academy course, we have realised that we can cater for more than one market. We have now categorised our programmes so that both ourselves and the member can get the most out of golf.”
In total, the club now has 600 members including ladies, juniors and intermediates.
Up and Coming Events
There are a range of events that are currently running and are also coming up over the summer at Houghton le Spring Golf club including:
· Ladies Get into Golf which is currently running
· Get into Golf sessions for juniors with the passport scheme which is currently running
· There is an Open Day on the 1st July.
· England Golf Ladies Away Day which is happening on the 6th May
· Captains end of season event happening on October.
Want to find out more about the club?
It is apparent to us that the club have being able to categorise programmes to cater for everyone. This way the club has developed the best service possible to increase the local participation rates in golf.