Golf Business News-GBN Interviews Jeremy Tomlinson, CEO of England Golf – GOLF Sports

Golf Business News has learned from England Golf CEO Jeremy Tomlinson about the challenges the organization faced this year, how to respond to a pandemic, and the position of the sport for 2021...

GBN: You’ve lobbyed the government many times this year, why did you find it important to do this?

JT: This was new to all of us, but we will ensure that the voice of golf is heard in the corridor of power and explain how golf can play a positive role in the recovery of sports in the country. Was important.

After the golf club was closed in March, the process immediately began working on a plan for a safe and quick return of golf, emphasizing the benefits of physical and mental health during the wider isolation period. In conversations with Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) officials and ministers, we can promote the many benefits of golf as an outdoor, naturally and socially distant sport. I did.

By releasing “Play Safe, Stay Safe” guidance for clubs and golfers in April, we can clearly show the government how to play golf without risking public health concerns about viral infections. I did. .. They understand that we have gone through a thorough process to create comprehensive guidelines for playing the game, and these will be one of the first sports golf will return on May 13th. It formed the basis for the government to allow that.

Temperature check at England Women’s Stroke Play Championship

It was frustrating when the golf course was closed again in November, but the government understands how positive it is to play golf even during times of strict restrictions after the public’s support for the game has grown significantly. I think it has deepened. For our community.

This year was also a year in which the golf industry gathered more than ever, working together through a all-party parliamentary group for golf, advancing our own work, and the group’s work continuing to support the game.

GBN: Can you tell us how you managed the COVID-19 funding process and what benefits this would bring to UK golf clubs?

JT: With the blockade introduced in March, I immediately started talking to Martin Slumbers in an R & A. It was clear that the long-term closure of golf clubs would have a significant impact on our 1,800 affiliated facilities. This was a special time to call for special measures.

With £ 2.55 million available in June, we had to find a way to bring this money to clubs with quick, fair and financial needs in the long run. Supports business resilience.

Setting up a robust and clearly fair application process with fast delivery was a major challenge, but within a few weeks the club was able to apply for a grant of up to £ 10,000 through an anonymous process.

The first tranche of funding was able to support applications from 328 clubs, and this money was paid after September.

But obviously we need to do more and I am very grateful to the board for pledged an additional £ 500,000. England golf Funding to support more clubs, who just missed supporting the project for the first time because supply exceeded supply. With £ 2.55m in funding worth £ 7.2m, I wanted to do more to support the club.

The money paid to the club has helped fund various projects and will highlight so many of these across the country in the coming months.

The clubs that have benefited from funding are also making further efforts to protect and equalize, which is another big plus for the match in England.

GBN: You have successfully launched the World Handicap System this year, what do you think this will make a difference between golfers and golf clubs?

JT: In the “normal” year, the launch of the World Handicap System, the biggest change in handicap over 100 years, would have been a big project. Obviously, 2020 had many other challenges before the start date of November 2, but despite the on-time launch and unavoidable toothing problem, the system Is currently established.

The size of the project may not be fully understood. Within a few days, we transferred over 15 million scores from the old CDH system to the new WHS platform. Instead of having 1,800 computing hubs throughout England (all clubs), England Golf is now one central hub, which improves integrity, a key element of the handicap system.

To reach this point, it was necessary to transfer the play records of about 630,000 golfers, which took years to plan.

As with any project, live platform-based issues that may or may not be planned can only be resolved once the system is up and running, but in six weeks, how the situation has progressed. I’m happy with it. Our clubs and counties have been very supportive in helping us reach this point.

At this point, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all the volunteers involved in the handicap in the club and county, and to the general manager who has shown a great deal of patience and calm to move the club to the new system.

Changes can be difficult, but the important thing golfers should keep in mind is not to change the way the game is played, but to the way the computer calculates the handicap index.

The difference with WHS is that more than ever, it encourages golfers to increase their golf rounds, score and monitor their goodness.

Golfers have already adapted to change and have scored from general play and competition. By building a larger score bank, the handicap index accurately reflects the golfer’s actual playing ability and can be carried anywhere in the world. The purpose is to make golf more comprehensive and encourage more people to play the game. I am looking forward to this play. There is one Rules of Golf and one unified handicap system. This is really good.

GBN: In terms of inclusiveness, how much did England Golf prioritize this aspect of the game, despite the difficult years, and what steps did it take to make golf more appealing?

JT: We have made great strides in many ways in recent years, but we need to do more.

Recognizing the need to work to bring more diversity to the game, we have recently commissioned the largest ever research on golf and the black, Asian and minority communities. The results of this study will help us to better understand, inform future policies and encourage widespread participation from all undervalued groups in our society.

England Golf is committed to promoting golf as a sport for everyone, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or ability. We promise to take action and obey the words.

Since August, a 12-member board of directors has achieved gender equality, with evenly divided male and female members. This is an important step forward, working to increase women’s participation in great games, along with support for R & A’s #ForeEveryone campaign and successful projects such as Girls Golf Rocks and Women and Girls’ Golf Week. I will.

In 2020, we co-hosted a men’s and women’s amateur championship at Woodhall Spa the same week. This was a huge success and became the centerpiece of the 2021 schedule.

For the first time at Farnum Golf Club, we will host a mixed gender event under the age of 18, and in 2021, we will once again support golfers with disabilities by winning a world-class championship at Whittleberry Park.

GBN: Finally, what do you expect in 2021? And do you have a chance to play a lot of golf this holiday season?

JT: I’m very encouraged by how everyone in golf gathered behind the game in 2020 and is looking forward to 2021. I think there is a new, faster flowing energy level throughout golf at all levels. I think it will be good in the long run to take the time to reset and understand what the game meant for all of us in 2020.

The game was viewed in a much more positive way, and the sight of many golfers returning to play in the summer or choosing a club for the first time to join the club was spectacular.

Through the “Membership: Give It Shot” campaign launched at the club in June, it is very important not only to recruit more golf club members, but also to retain those who have enthusiastically joined the ranks this year. I am.

In 2021, we aim to deepen our interaction with independent golfers through the new connectivity platform and strengthen our relationships with this non-member group.

None of us can and do not want to underestimate the fact that 2020 is an exhausting year and we have the opportunity to relax a little while on vacation with our family. But I’m planning the game over the next few weeks (appropriately socially distant and in line with current limits) and I’m looking forward to seeing if I can still hit the golf ball. I will! In any case, I am grateful and enjoyed the fact that we are playing …

GBN: Thank you, Jeremy Tomlinson

– GOLF Sports

Golf Business News-GBN Interviews Jeremy Tomlinson, CEO of England Golf Golf Business News-GBN Interviews Jeremy Tomlinson, CEO of England Golf

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