Golf News Roundup

• Wycombe Heights Golf Centre set for driving range revolution with Toptracer Range technology

Wycombe Heights Golf Centre, a BGL Golf venue, is close to completing the construction of a brand-new driving range featuring state-of-the-art Toptracer Range technology.

The club has invested hundreds of thousands of pounds into the new facility, and one of many new advancements is the installation of exciting Toptracer Range technology into 20 of its 24 bays – becoming the only club in the area to offer the tech and providing the local community with an outstanding golf practice and entertainment hub.
The new driving range at Wycombe Heights will be open to all, offering tuition from its experienced team of professionals and a comfortable setting for beginners to take up the game or have fun with friends and family.

Using cameras mounted around the facility, Toptracer Range technology tracks and displays every shot on video screens found at each hitting bay and allows for a host of fun game modes that are scalable to any ability.

Data is instantly recorded and displayed on the screen through a player profile that can be accessed at any time through the Toptracer Range community app, allowing users to return to their stored data on subsequent visits or compare their performance against friends.

Sarah Blunden, General Manager at Wycombe Heights Golf Centre, commented: “We are all so excited to be opening the new driving range and I can’t wait to see how it transforms the practice experience here at Wycombe Heights.

“Toptracer technology has become very recognisable to golf fans over the last couple of years and it will really add a new dynamic for both avid golfers and beginners looking to pick up the game in a fun and relaxed environment.”

The investment into constructing the new range was extensive, with roughly 100,000 tonnes of soil required to re-level the outfield, as well as fitting new bays and updating the existing golf range equipment.

Wycombe Heights’ state-of-the-art driving range opens to the public on Saturday 13th April with the club’s grand opening event which will feature music, a BBQ and much more.

The club is running a competition to win a golf membership worth £1,000, which can be entered online via the Wycombe Heights website before the 10th April with the winner being announced at the Grand Opening on 13th April.

For more information on Wycombe Heights Golf Centre or the grand opening event, visit www.wycombeheightsgc.co.uk.

• 150 members already signed up for Foremost’s Online Lesson Booking System

Foremost, Europe’s leading retail and marketing group, has revealed immediate success for its new Online Lesson Booking System, one of the four key optional upgrades that together make up the Elite Marketing Programme (EMP) Premium service.
Following on from the successful launch of the online system, more than 50 members are already live and using the booking service, with a further 100 in the set-up phase.

Taking the booking process online makes it more efficient and saves professionals time, as instant visibility of lesson availability and a simple booking procedure negates the need for lengthy text or WhatsApp exchanges.

Responding to member and customer demand, Foremost’s new, free-of-charge booking system enables professionals to optimise their booking diary and, crucially, it is continually promoted to potential customers through the professional’s existing EMP digital marketing communications.
Andy Martin, Foremost Managing Director, commented: “We wanted to create a solution that gives our members a supporting hand while being extremely competitive in the marketplace as a free solution to EMP Premium subscribers.

“I’m delighted that so many of our members have opted to work with our service moving forward, and I have no doubt that it will greatly benefit their businesses.”

Consumers can access the diaries of the pro shop and its teaching professionals, allowing for easy bookings as well as better awareness of availability because the system is integrated within the EMP which frequently communicates with the consumer and promotes coaching availability.
Foremost began introducing its new system through extensive beta testing and member focus groups to get professional input before rolling it out to the wider membership.

Adrian Harris, of Broadstone Golf Club, was one of the first adopters: “We implemented the Foremost Online Booking System just before Christmas, and so far it has worked really well,” he said. 

“The key thing for me was that it syncs perfectly with Google Calendar, which we used previously. We are seeing members and non-members making bookings through our website as well as the club’s site and the ability for them to see our availability for lessons has definitely helped drive additional business.”

Another member who has been using the system, Trevor Newsham from Heysham Golf Club, has already seen the benefits of a digital solution: “We only started using the system four weeks ago and already over 50% of our regular customers are taking advantage of the system.

“It’s light, fast, easy to use and paperless, which is exactly what we wanted. The fact we can access it via the phone is also a big advantage and makes planning our schedules so much easier.”

Shane Naisbett, Head Professional at Chesterfield Golf Club, added: “I have always used a paper diary in the past, but I switched to the new Foremost online system a month ago and it’s been a fantastic help.
“My old paper diary has become an online calendar, so all my customers can book lessons and fittings without needing to speak to me first. It’s made my life so much easier and I would recommend it to anyone considering making the switch.”

The system can manage bookings for lessons, fittings, playing lessons, demo days and more in a streamlined and efficient process.
For more information on Foremost, visit grip.foremostgolf.com or follow @ForemostGolf
If you are interested in joining Foremost, please contact Leanne Spence on 01753 218 891 or email leanne@foremostgolf.com.

• New Burhill Golf Club Captains   Sworn-in in Style during Fun-filled   Inauguration

Burhill Golf Club’s incoming club captains for 2019 put on a remarkable show at the Annual Captain’s Drive-in event as they opted for a Lion King-themed event that wowed over 200 attending members.

Showcasing Burhill’s family-friendly and fun ethos, Temi Kapo and Alex Jamison - who will be taking over as Men’s and Ladies’ captains respectively for 2019 - made the journey to the iconic par-3 18th hole on the New Course atop a customised buggy dancing to the Lion King theme tune as new junior captain, Sasha Crockett drove them.
An impressive number of Burhill members turned out for the vibrant ceremony to see in their new captains while the club put on canapes and live musical entertainment.

Dubravka Griffiths, General Manager at Burhill Golf Club, commented: “It was certainly the most exciting Captain’s Drive-in I have ever been a part of! I think it shows the club spirit that exists here at Burhill and the willingness of the membership to have fun, breaking free of the traditional stereotype of golf clubs as stuffy and boring.
“Temi and Alex have each contributed a lot to the club over the past decade and more, so I’m certain that they will both oversee a very successful year for Burhill.”

New men’s Captain, Temi, has been a member at Burhill for 16 years, and took over the role of pace of play co-ordinator in 2017 as part of his role on the Men’s Committee. Alex, a member for 13 years served on the ladies committee for six years, the first three as treasurer before becoming Vice Captain last year, while Junior Captain Sasha has become an integral part of the club’s junior section.

The event marked the first time the club has put on one single event to inaugurate club captains.

• UK Golf Federation backs British    Golf Show with free promotion

The UK Golf Federation, which promotes open access to the sport and counts almost 100 visitor-friendly golf clubs among its members, is supporting this year’s inaugural British Golf Show with a free promotion.

Visitors to the show, which takes place at the Wycombe Air Park aerodrome on Friday 17th and Saturday 18th May 2019, will each receive a golfing gift from the UK Golf Federation,

The gift will be a redeemable voucher giving a golf taster experience session, or a group lesson, or a round of golf at participating facilities – at no cost to the voucher-holder.

The UK Golf Federation will also showcase its members’ clubs by taking an exhibition stand at the British Golf Show, which is free for all members of the public to attend. On the stand, UKGF staff will give suggestions to visitors as to how to take up or play more golf.
The two organisations will also cross-promote in the months leading up to the show, with communications to their respective email lists and on their websites.

British Golf Show organisers are committed to introducing newcomers to the sport, with potential coming not only from the visiting public but also from visitors to the long-established The Elite London luxury lifestyle event, which takes place adjacent to the golf exhibition on the same dates.

“We welcome the initiative shown by Elite Events in establishing the British Golf Show,” said Doug Poole, CEO of the UK Golf Federation. “There are relatively few UK events on this scale in 2019 where the public will be able to turn up in large numbers to sample golf, and I urge the industry to take a closer look at the plans for the show.

“May’s exhibition will give people a great reason to come and visit one of our members’ golf clubs for the first time. Having met the show’s organisers I am confident that they are putting on an exhibition which will be in harmony with our own goals as regards driving up participation levels.”

 

Alex Ayling, Managing Director of show organisers The Elite Luxury Events, said: “Having the support of the UKGF is terrifically important to us, and we will work hard to help deliver a smooth and successful promotion.

“We are grateful to Doug and the UKGF board for backing the show in this way. It is always tough to establish a new exhibition in any market, and you need cooperation from key organisations in the industry. Our focus will be to drive new customers to UKGF member clubs this May.”

The 2019 British Golf Show promises to be an entertaining day out for golfers and their families, as well as for those with an interest in starting the sport.

Visitors will be able to try the latest golf technology products, and venues will be showcasing their resorts and golf courses. Brands such as Cobra and Callaway will be organising tests of their 2019 product ranges out on the driving range, and as well as other golf attractions visitors will also find a fascinating array of spectacular products on show from the worlds of luxury cars, aviation, marine and shooting in The Elite London exhibition.

“Save the dates, because on 17th and 18th May we will be putting on a show unlike anything that UK golf has seen before,” said Ayling.

See www.britishgolfshow.co.uk for more information, or call +44 (0)203 740 6085, or email hello@britishgolfshow.co.uk to enquire about exhibiting at the show.
See www.ukgolffederation.com for all UKGF information.
CONTACTS
At The British Golf Show: Alex Ayling, alex@theeliteevents.com, +44 (0)203 740 6085

At the UK Golf Federation: Doug Poole, +44 (0)2476 414999

• Ian Woosnam installs SkyTrak at home

European golf legend Ian Woosnam has based his new indoor swing room around SkyTrak, golf’s most affordable launch monitor and simulator.
In summer 2018, the 61 year-old Welshman saw a SkyTrak in action while making plans to convert some space at his home in Jersey, and decided that it was the right technology for his home setup.
After the conversion, which was completed in December 2018, Woosnam began to use SkyTrak both to sharpen his game for tournament play, and as a source of entertainment for golfing friends.

“SkyTrak helps me to produce my best golf,” said Woosnam. “It gives me everything I need to work on my game including golf course simulation. With it I can now practise at home whenever I want. It’s proven to be accurate and easy to use, and also has a wealth of choice as regards golf courses.
“SkyTrak helps me to stay match-fit and keeps my game sharp before tournaments. I can also pick it up and take it with me when I travel to Barbados, where I can just set it up at my place over there – so it’s the ideal launch monitor for my busy schedule.”

‘Woosie’, as he is known to millions of golf fans worldwide, is still a regular Top 10 finisher on the Staysure Tour, with his last win coming at the Dutch Senior Open in 2014. In 2008, in his first year on what was then called the European Seniors Tour, he won the Order Of Merit and he is a five -time winner on the Tour.
In his distinguished professional career to date the Jersey resident has scored 52 professional wins, including the 1991 Masters. He was the first golfer to win more than £1 million in prize money in a single year, and spent 50 weeks as the World No.1. He won the World Matchplay Championship in three different decades, represented Wales in 14 World Cups, and played 8 times in The Ryder Cup, captaining Team Europe to victory in 2006 at The K Club with a record-equalling winning score.
Woosnam has been using his SkyTrak intensively in recent weeks, to prepare for playing in the Masters tournament in early April.
On using SkyTrak for ball and equipment testing, Ian Woosnam said: “I needed something which I could get my numbers on,” he said, “and since having the SkyTrak installed, I have used it to test different golf balls, looking ahead to the 2019 Staysure Tour season. It has also been useful when looking at changing shafts.

“And when friends have come around to play golf, it has been absolutely great. I have a wonderful social area now at home, perfect for indoor golf, with the SkyTrak at the centre of the setup.”

Call +44 (0)1844 296350, email sales@skycaddiegps.co.uk or see www.skytrakgolf.com for all details.

• Significant visitor growth at Golf d’Hardelot and Le Touquet Golf Resort

- Golf d’Hardelot welcomed 18% more golfers (2018), year-on-year
- Le Manoir Hôtel at Le Touquet Golf Resort increased bookings by 30%
- Visitor growth from UK, Belgium, Netherlands, Scandinavia and the domestic market

Golf d’Hardelot and Le Touquet Golf Resort on France’s northern coast have reported significant increases in visitors, underpinned by growing business from the UK, Belgium, The Netherlands and Scandinavia.

Golf d’Hardelot and Le Touquet Golf Resort, home to France’s No.1 links*, reported 18% and 6% rises in green fees respectively in 2018, continuing an upward momentum that started in 2017, where Le Touquet Golf Resort saw an 8% rise on the previous year.

Le Touquet Golf Resort’s refurbished Le Manoir Hôtel, voted France’s Best Golf Hotel** for three consecutive years, also experienced an uplift in visitor numbers, reporting a 30% increase in bookings for 2018.

Le Manoir’s refurbishment was part of a multi-million Euro renovation programme across Le Touquet Golf Resort, which has seen the award-winning restoration of La Mer (The Sea), France’s No. 1 links course, and the construction of a bold architect-designed clubhouse.

Golf d’Hardelot has enjoyed increased popularity after an astute and thorough golf course renovation project. Golf architects Frank Pont and Patrice Boissonnas used old photographs and aerial views to restore Les Pins (The Pines) to Tom Simpson’s original 1931 routing and design, recreating the shaping and contours of greens, surrounds, fairways and bunker edges. 

CEO, Laurent Boissonnas, commented: “The Ryder Cup has undoubtedly put the focus on France, with courses and resorts around Paris and in northern France benefitting from an increase in travelling golfers. However, thanks to our own investment projects, this positive trend had been building at our venues since the end of 2017, was noticed throughout 2018, and early bookings indicate it is continuing in 2019.

“Our goal has been to create a new golden age of golf travel on France’s northern coast, and it means so much to see, not just the increase in visitors, but also a broader range of international golfers discovering golf on the Opal Coast.”

Le Touquet Golf Resort and Golf d’Hardelot are easily reached from the UK, Belgium and The Netherlands, as well as the rest of France, by road and rail; both located less than an hour’s drive south of the Eurotunnel terminus on the A16 autoroute. 

For more information about Le Touquet Golf Resort, visit https://www.letouquetgolfresort.com/en
and for Golf d’Hardelot, visit www.hardelotgolfclub.com/en

* Golf World magazine (UK)
** Today’s Golfer Travel Awards

• National Award recognises a Lifetime’s Commitment to the Community

Ian Bonser, owner of the national award-winning 3 Hammers Golf Complex was presented with the Lifetime Service Award at the prestigious England Golf Awards in London.  The award, which is the greatest accolade in the golf industry, not only recognises his 30+ year career, but most significantly acknowledges the personal contribution he has made to the sport and the local community.

The England Golf Awards are in their third year and are the national governing body’s annual celebration the heroes of the game.  The awards dinner, hosted by BBC presenter Dan Walker, took place at the Royal Lancaster London on Thursday, 21st March where Ian was presented with this illustrious award.  He commented, “This is a fabulous day for me personally, but also for everyone who has worked with me at 3 Hammers.  I have made it my life’s work to make golf fun, affordable and friendly and I am incredibly proud that England Golf has recognised the success we have had in achieving those objectives on a day to day basis.”

“Ian is a pioneer.  He is passionate about golf and has made an incredible impact at a local and national level, which is why we are delighted to present him with our Lifetime Service Award,” commented Nick Pink, CEO of England Golf. “The work 3 Hammers does in the local community makes a huge difference to people’s lives and Ian is an inspiration to those around him as well as the wider golf industry.”

The 3 Hammers Golf Complex is made up of a Sir Henry Cotton designed 18 hole short course, a state of the art Driving Range fitted with Toptracer®, an indoor Golf Performance Studio, a unique Learn to Play Zone plus a bistro and 4000sq ft golf shop.  The facility delivers golf to around 3,500 youngsters in schools and community groups and welcomes over 200,000 people through the doors each year, factors which hugely impressed the judging panel.  Particular praise was been made to Ian’s commitment to making golf affordable for all.

Ian concluded, “This is a real honour, but although this is a Lifetime Service Award there are still so many things that I want to do at 3 Hammers. My team and I will always be looking for ways to improve so that we can offer the very best golf experience for people of all ages.  Golf is a fantastic sport, which I have played since I was 11 years old, which is why I am so intent on giving as many people as possible the chance to play and experience the wonderful world of golf.”