Crown Golf hopes to grow business with new ambassador roles

Crown Golf, the largest golf club owner and operator in the United Kingdom, has created a new ambassador role for its top PGA pros that aims to grow participation and better engage members and new golfers. 

The Golf Development Professionals, or GDPs as they are called, will be able to have more face time with golfers, and also help new members become integrated members by helping them to meet others, said Crown Golf CEO Stephen Towers.

But, Crown Golf envisions the GDPs as crucial toward the clubs’ futures.

“The long term goal is to grow participation in the game by becoming the ambassador of golf in their community, engagement of new golfers through local outreach activity and other sports networks, in addition to, ensuring existing golfers continue to enjoy their sport, through game improvement and by ensuring they remain integrated within club life,” Towers said.

During the past six months, Crown Golf has already seen significant improvement in member retention levels. The impact will continue to be measured, particularly for the integration of new and existing members.

Additionally, handicaps are coming down faster, and more golfers are taking lessons, the company said. Initial engagements or assessments are included with membership. Coaching can be purchased as a package with group and one-on-one sessions available.

With a schedule of more than 50 golfing and social events at each of the 23 Crown Golf clubs, the GDPs are also heavily involved in the competitive side.

“The best PGA professionals are like the captain of a football team,” said Rob Spurrier, who coordinates coaching across the Crown Golf group. “Everybody knows their name, and which golf club they work at, for miles around. They can work miracles with your golf game and your confidence levels, and their personality sets the tone at the golf club. We’re putting them where they belong — among people — to fully use those core PGA skills for which they have spent years in training.”

Crown Golf invested more than £300,000 to develop and launch the new positions. They’re now at venues in Surrey, Bristol, Essex, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, London, Middlesex and Merseyside. Where vacancies still exist, Crown Golf is recruiting. It takes the right kind of golf professional to fill the role, Towers said.

It “requires an ability to engage within the club and externally, and a desire to share the love and fun of the game with people at every level,” he said

Crown Golf also recently introduced new golf lesson-booking software and a new central tee time booking service, which enables staff in club shops to spend more time with their customers.

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