Scottish Golf has strengthened its support package for affiliate clubs by adding two new funding opportunities to the existing 2023 programme.
All 569 affiliated golf clubs in Scotland can apply for targeted support or funding in five key areas of the club’s operations: marketing, sustainability, governance, member retention and staff education.
All five club support packages align with Scottish Golf’s strategic objective of ensuring the sport is built from a position of strength and firmly establishes itself as a Scottish game for all.
The new Sustainable Golf Accelerator Fund, launched in partnership with the Geo Sustainable Golf Foundation, will give successful applicants access to online workshops and additional support services as well as a customized annual sustainability report and carbon footprint as they develop a cost-effective and environmentally conscious strategy for future growth.
Jonathan Smith, Founder and CEO of GEO Sustainable Golf, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Scottish Golf to help bring even more support and recognition to more clubs across the country.
“Our focus is to help clubs engage more in sustainability and climate action in a way that enhances the efficiency of their operations, enhances the landscape for golfing, enhances their popularity and positions them as important leaders in their communities.”
Also new for 2023 is the Club Development Advisory Fund. Clubs can apply for free webinars run by Club Development Consultancy, a social enterprise that specializes in supporting sports clubs to change legal status.
These sessions will help clubs consider the current landscape, legislation and options available to them. In addition, clubs can apply for individual support in changing legal status.
Andrew Jenkin, Senior Consultant, Club Development Consultancy, said: “We are delighted to be working with Scottish Golf to provide their members with advice and support when it comes to incorporation and legal structures.
“From our conversations with golf clubs so far, it is clear that it is an important issue that ultimately affects the long-term sustainability of the club.
“This is an exciting time for Club Development Consultancy, and we look forward to working with Scottish Golf and supporting its members throughout the life of this partnership.”
Three more funds for 2023 return after popular demand in 2022. Last year, 161 clubs were awarded grants totaling £102,000 in these three areas alone.
With the Players 1st Survey Fund, clubs can apply for a free 12-month Players 1st subscription, (worth £500) to a comprehensive membership survey designed to help member satisfaction and retention.
Amelia Lewis, Senior Regional Director of Players, said: “We are delighted to continue our partnership with Scottish Golf and play a part in working towards their strategic goal of developing strong, sustainable clubs built for the future.
“Our program enhances the support offered to affiliate clubs, which has been verified by positive feedback from clubs that received support in 2022.
“The insights and feedback gathered through the use of the Players 1st platform have helped clubs understand what is important to their members and highlight areas for improvement.
“We look forward to discovering more insights of expertise across Scottish golf clubs in 2023.”
Clubs granted access to the Scottish Golf Marketing Fund will receive bespoke marketing advice from experts at the company’s Scots77 platform as well as an additional £500 of Scottish Golf funding in order to make the scheme operational.
Liam Barne, managing director of platform77, said: “We are really pleased to have the opportunity to work with clubs across Scotland again this year through the Scottish Golf Marketing Fund 2023.
“2022 saw the Fund working with 50 clubs to develop customized sales and marketing plans focused on identifying and effectively engaging with visiting golfers.
“Fund 2023 builds on this by identifying key areas where clubs require broader marketing support and then delivering initiatives focused on key customer groups.”
The Club Education Fund allows clubs to apply for grants of up to £300 to improve the skills of key staff or volunteers through recognized education and training courses.
Andrew Baptie, Head of Club Services and Governance at Scottish Golf, said of the 2023 funds: “Scottish Golf is fully committed to supporting our member clubs in key areas of their operations and we are delighted to be able to expand this year’s offering by creating new opportunities.
“Sustainability is a huge topic for golf clubs to address. Working closely with colleagues at the GEO Foundation, we believe that clubs can not only achieve important cost savings, but also contribute positively to the improvement of our wider environment.
“We also know that the majority of Scottish golf clubs are unincorporated, which can provide increased risk and challenge for commissions.
“Providing guidance and support to clubs looking to make a change to the legal structure is a welcome addition to our range of support packages.”
For more details on Scottish Golf’s 2023 Funding and Resources range, visit www.scottishgolf.org/club-funds-and-resources
All five funds are now open for applications and will close on Friday, April 14th.
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