By Sam Tremlett
New golf format is working wonders at getting more people playing golf across the country.
Golf Access Is Getting More People Playing Golf
Golf Access is a new format in golf designed to get more people playing the sport we love and it is having huge success doing so across the country at the moment.
Over 75 golf clubs have signed up to become Golf Access Centres, such as Saunton, Trevose, and Skibbereen and West Carberry Golf Club in Ireland. When surveyed, 100% of the clubs that have signed up would recommend it to other clubs because it could increase beginner participation, increase junior and adult memberships, and would get people coming back to play more often.
Dean Harrison, the PGA Professional at Chilworth Golf Club said, “Thanks to the Golf Access experience on the course, many of my junior tuition sessions are now student led. The kids have a clear idea on what they need to improve on and realise all the games we play on the range are targeted to improve their games on the course. I like the format and like the freedom t0 implement Golf Access in my own way. Golf really needs more participants and this is a great way to introduce them."
How Does It Work?
Golf Access is a new type of scoring system designed to be played from a forward tee. There are 9 bands or levels to go through and work towards, where players can progress by slowly improving their score each time they play. When each level has been completed juniors will be presented with a different colour band, and adults will get a poker chip ball marker.
The idea also has excellent rules like, if a player scores more than 10 on a hole they can pick up and mark that on their scorecard. Additionally, if a player takes more than three shots to get out of a bunker, they can pick it up and place to the side of it. It is these types of rules that can make golf more enjoyable for beginners.
Golf Access gives all new players a target to strive for and it gets them playing out on the course and learning the game there, instead of hitting ball after ball on the range.
Once the player has completed Golf Access and received their platinum band or ball marker, they can move on to Golf Access+.
Golf Access+ takes their game to the next level with a starting handicap starting at 54. They then play 9 holes trying to play to a lower and lower handicap. Much like Golf Access, there are 9 bands to work towards ending at a handicap of 36.
Importantly, this idea can be introduced on every course and keeps the player engaged long enough to see a difference in their game. Combined with Golf Access+, the player usually gets bitten by the golfing bug by then.
Simon Wood, Golf Access creator, came up with the idea whilst working as a PGA Professional. In an interview with Golf Monthly, Wood said "I was always very successful as a professional at actually getting people to play golf on a golf course. When I was working for England I found lots of people get into the game but we didn't actually convert them to playing on the golf course, a lot of the sessions are very much range based."
"So we were telling them how to swing the club, but we weren't helping them learn the game, and I thought there must be some way, a better way for beginners, adults and juniors, to get involved in the game on the golf course rather than just purely on the practice area."
There are also plans to expand the idea even further passed Golf Access+. Wood said, "we are currently looking into the next stage of that. A lot of clubs have asked what's next? So that's what we are going to look at. It will probably be a similar colour-coded scheme marking the handicap levels, we just need to put that in place."
"The whole idea was to get them to a standard where they would want to carry on in their own time."
Any idea that's gets more people playing golf can only be a good thing so if you would like to know more about Golf Access please visit their website by clicking here - https://www.golfaccess.co.uk/
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