In August Tilgate Forest Golf Centre will stage a vibrant, month-long Golf Festival with a host of free attractions designed to bring first-timers into golf and forge links with the local community.
Staff will be encouraging local residents to visit the golf centre during the month, and are aiming to greet at least 100 first-time visitors during August, whether for a golf lesson, a fun golf-themed event, a session on the driving range, or simply a trip to the golf centre to discover what is on offer there.
To encourage visitors, each day one tee time will be available for just £4 in a return of Tilgate Forest’s popular ‘Round For A Pound’ deal. Plus, junior golfers will be able to play for free, if they are with a paying adult.
The main event of the Golf Festival takes place on Sunday 23rd August when the golf centre hosts a special one-off Family Fun Day, with a bouncy castle, BBQ, FootGolf and junior golf competitions, plus live music and more.
Tilgate Forest GC, which is one of seven Glendale Golf centres across the UK running a special programme of events in August, has partnered with Crawley Borough Council to run free golfing taster sessions at the golf centre and also in Tilgate Park.
National junior golf charity The Golf Foundation is running its ‘Junior Golf Passport’ scheme at the centre in August, while the up-and-coming sport of FootGolf – where footballs are kicked into oversized golf holes – will feature in a Summer Camp which also offer a series of fun golf-themed events for children during the school holidays.
The golf centre has also formed a partnership with Crawley Wellbeing, and there will be an unconventional ‘urban golf’ event running through the month on its Par 3 short course.
Appropriately, given that it works closely with local schools, two of the most prominent figures at Tilgate Forest GC – new PGA Professional Lea Cooper and Centre Manager Dan Lucking – both grew up as junior golfers at the centre while at school in the area.
Local community leaders are encouraged to come and meet the Golf Festival’s organisers, to discuss how golf can spread through the area – whether through schools, youth clubs, community centres or at Tilgate Forest Golf Centre itself.
Junior Summer Camps, free beginner golf lessons, additional FootGolf events and Ladies’ Days are just some of the other events at Tilgate Forest GC during the Golf Festival.
Older first-timers are not being forgotten, either, with a special effort being made to encourage senior citizens to discover how a golf centre can be a relaxing and sociable place – with how well you can play the game being of secondary importance!
“100 people may not sound like a large number, but think about it” said Dan Lucking. “If it’s a young person, then family members will probably help them get here. Once they arrive, there’s a good chance they will explore the golf centre, and will perhaps be inspired to have a go themselves. Then there’s the word of mouth afterwards, whether on social media or in the pub with friends. I predict that everyone who tries golf for the first time here in August will share the experience at least six others – if we make it a good experience! That’s the local snowball effect we are trying to create – we want people to spread the word about Tilgate Forest Golf Centre.”
He continued: “Getting local community leaders here during August is important to us. Each area has its inspirational figures, and they can come from any age group, or social circle. Their influence has a long-term effect in the local area. What matters is that people feel welcomed when they walk into somewhere new: that’s what people will always find here – and not just during the Golf Festival!
“We’re banishing the stereotypical stuffy image of this sport. We believe that a golf centre should be a welcoming place, accessible to absolutely everyone, without snobbery or barriers. And it’s not just about inspiring an individual: we are setting out to change how golf is perceived by as many people as possible”.
Beginner-friendly facilities at Tilgate Forest GC include a large floodlit driving range, a practice putting green and a par 3 course, alongside the centre’s main 18-hole championship golf course for the more experienced player. There’s also a brand-new family-friendly clubhouse, and it is all set in the stunning surrounds of Tilgate Forest.
“A lot has changed at Tilgate Forest GC over the last couple of years” said Dan Lucking. “August’s Golf Festival gives families something new to do during the school holidays, and it is a great reason for local people to discover more about us, even if they have never considered playing golf before”.
To find out more about the Tilgate Forest Golf Festival in August, visit http://www.glendalegolf.co.uk/tilgate-forest-golf-centre or call the golf centre on 01293 530103.
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