Get Golfing: The charity restoring courses to their former glory

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Get Golfing is breaking traditions in its journey to make golf more inclusive and accessible to the everyday golfer.
Posted on
June 24, 2024
by
Jack Lumb in ,
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Established in 2018 by the late Ed Richardson, Get Golfing set out to rescue and restore struggling golf courses.

For many club golfers, a course can become a second home, valued for its location, course quality, clubhouse, price, and community. The potential closure of such a beloved club can be devastating.

Get Golfing addresses this issue by revitalising failing golf courses and reinvesting all funds back into the clubs. As a charity organisation, it is dedicated to preserving these cherished community assets and ensuring their continued operation.

How does it work?

Struggling golf courses often reach out to Get Golfing as a last resort to stay afloat. When a course is deemed a suitable fit, the charity assesses the site before taking over and transforming it into a financially sustainable venue.

Pyrford Lakes, the charity's flagship course, exemplifies this positive impact. Significant investments have not only improved the course itself but also modernised the clubhouse.

Moving away from the traditional members club model, the open-plan clubhouse features two large TV screens, music playing aloud, and a spacious patio overlooking the lake.

Get Golfing aims to provide a relaxed, inclusive atmosphere at its venues
Get Golfing aims to provide a relaxed, inclusive atmosphere at its venues

While the new design may not appeal to traditionalists, the clubhouse now feels rejuvenated, and the course condition has markedly improved.

Many struggling clubs face deteriorating course conditions, driving current members away and deterring new ones. However, with all profits reinvested into the club, it ensures year-round maintenance, promoting membership growth and attracting new visitors.

Get Golfing’s points-based flexible membership aims to provide greater freedom than traditional golf club memberships. Rather than paying a large sum for a year’s membership — regardless of how much you play — the points are deducted based on the day, time, and number of holes played, with members gaining access to all courses without additional fees.

Inclusivity

Historically, member clubs have maintained an etiquette and hierarchy that can deter new golfers. While traditional clubs are unlikely to change drastically, Get Golfing is taking a different approach.

By eliminating waiting lists, sign-on fees, and the need for a member's recommendation, Get Golfing makes its courses accessible to both new and experienced golfers without the usual hassles and costs.

Twilight golf at Hampton Court Palace, Kingston

“We’re proud of our premium golf courses scattered across the picturesque landscapes of England. Whether you're a seasoned golfer or new to the game, you’ll find a course that suitably challenges you.

But our venues aren’t just for golfers – our doors are open to everyone. Whether you’re planning your big day, looking for a flexible meeting space, or fancy a coffee with friends somewhere new, you’ll feel welcomed and well looked after with us” a spokesperson for Get Golfing stated.

This more “laid-back” setting was evident during a visit to Pyrford Lakes, where the relaxed atmosphere and welcoming environment were clear from the get go. The charity's free junior memberships up to age 18 further demonstrate its commitment to encouraging a new wave of young golfers and promoting the sport.

Community

Community is a central focus of Get Golfing's mission. In addition to improving courses and clubhouses, it is actively involved in several initiatives to promote women's participation in golf, support athletes with disabilities, and provide meals and free golf days for underprivileged children.

For Head of Operations, Tom Corrigan, community involvement is at the forefront of the charity’s mission.

"At Get Golfing, we believe that every swing should be a step toward community, well-being, and inclusivity. Our mission is to make the game and our venues accessible and enjoyable for everyone. Whether you're a seasoned golfer, a newcomer or just here to relax, we're here to support your journey every step of the way."

The Fun, Food, and Golf campaign run across all clubs, offers children free school meals and complimentary golf sessions paired with nutritious meals, aiming to provide a positive and healthy environment for disadvantaged kids.

Get Golfing has also not long launched the Learn to Play Golf Day at Pyrford Lakes in partnership with WheelPower. Specifically designed for disabled and wheelchair-bound individuals, the event was aimed to foster inclusivity in sports by providing an adaptive golfing experience.

In line with this, the charity has partnered with the European Disabled Golf Association (EDGA) to introduce the Get Golfing G4D (Golf for Disabled) Series. The series includes three EDGA WR4GD ranking events at its venues, beginning on 26 July 2024, providing disabled golfers with a platform to compete and showcase their talents.

Lastly, the inaugural Festival of Golf, starting on 26 August 2024, will celebrate women’s golf and inclusivity. This week-long event will feature a mix of competitive and community activities, welcoming participants of all ages and backgrounds, and reinforcing its commitment to making golf accessible to everyone.

What does the future hold for Get Golfing?

Since its inception in 2018, Get Golfing has experienced exponential growth. The charity now operates 13 courses and has formed new partnerships while launching several forward-thinking initiatives, making significant progress in its mission.

In the immediate future, it will host the Get Golfing G4D (Golf for Disabled) Series across its venues as well as the inaugural Festival of Golf at Mill Green, Welwyn Garden City.

And in the distant future? Well, one can only imagine that plenty more courses will be acquired, developed and revived for the benefit of new and seasoned golfers across the country.

Get Golfing venues

 

About Jack Lumb

Jack is the editor of Golf Today. Having spent ten years playing competitively at a high amateur level and five years at county, he has carried his knowledge of the game into the world of journalism. He once set the course record at his home club, only for it to be beaten a month later.

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