Troon and the Troon-managed facilities won the 2017 NGCOA Player Development Award. NGCOA in every year is looking for the innovative and successful player development programs and new player retention programs.
Troon launched its player development program in 2011, the “Player Development Month with Get Golf Ready“. The essence of this player development program is that Troon daily-fee facilities, private clubs and Troon Golf Academies around the world are conducting introductory golf clinics and activities in a certain month of the year. For instance, in 2015 it was in May. The cost of participation in that year was really symbolic: $0 to $20 for adults.
Troon’s player development programs are two-fold:
- Introduce new players to the game and
- Get the players (and occasional players) to play more, enjoy the game and have fun with golf!
Key components to Troon’s player development efforts include, but are not limited to:
- Troon Family Golf
- Troon Junior Club
- Creation of Short Courses and Promotion of 9 Hole Rounds
- Troon’s New Get Into Golf Program
- Troon Player Development Month
- Troon Women’s Golf Month
- Support of National Initiatives, such as PGA Junior League and Drive, Chip & Putt
I found some interesting facts about the golf participation in the U.S. in 2016 in the National Golf Foundation’s Golf Participation in the U.S. report (2017 edition):
- A modest 1.2% decline in on-course participation – dipping to 23.8 million (age 6+ who played at least once) in 2016 from 24.1 million in 2015;
- The number of committed golfers – a group that accounts for approximately 95% of all rounds-played and overall spending – rose for the first time in five years, from 19.5 million to 20.1 million.
- Committed golfers’ composition: The share of avid golfers (as per NGF’s definition: Individuals ages 6 and above who played at least one round of golf during the survey year and indicate golf is a favorite activity) in 2016 was 8.8%. 11.3% – casual golfers, 3.7% – unengaged.
- When factoring in an 11% increase in off-course participation – from driving ranges and Topgolf facilities to indoor golf simulators – overall involvement in the game is actually up.
- Considering both on-course and off-course participation, golf’s consumer base increased to 32 million in 2016, up from 31.1 million a year earlier.
I think NGF is interpreting very broadly the avid golfer term. For me the avid golfer who is playing at least once a week. The other terms about golfers are also misleading. Therefore, I would recommend reading the report with reservations.