Golf is changing and memberships are changing too as clubs move to meet the needs of the modern golfer.
Churchill & Blakedown Golf Club, a traditional private members’ club founded in 1926, has embraced a new flexible membership category to increase choice for golfers.
And, nearing the first anniversary since C&B launched its Flex-Up membership, it’s fair to say it has been a huge success.
With nearly 70 members signed up across its three packages, Flex-Up is going from strength to strength and has complemented the traditional full membership categories.
Flex-Up membership was the idea of the club’s PGA professionals Angus Hoare and Phil Lathwood.
Aimed at attracting new members and generating revenue during the club’s quieter times, it has given a range of golfers the opportunity to become involved at this picturesque course in north Worcestershire.
Flex-Up has proved ideal both for beginners just getting into the game who perhaps don’t want to commit to full membership fees yet or more established golfers who love golf but simply don’t have the time to justify full membership at this point in their lives.
Among those to fall into the starter category is Julie Yardley who has been playing for a year and also has regular coaching with Phil.
Julie became the 50th Flex-Up member and the membership has ignited a love affair with golf.
“As someone who works I have limited time so can only play once or twice a week at most so Flex-Up is ideal,” she said. “I started to play last year because my husband plays and once I had a go I fell in love with golf. I’ve been made to feel very welcome at Churchill and Blakedown and my game has come on massively with Phil’s help so I’m really enjoying the Flex-Up experience.”
Flex-Up is points-based with three packages – 60, 120 or 210 points.
While not carrying the benefits of full membership it is sufficient to meet the needs of many who still hanker after the golf club environment and they can also play in Stablefords and medals.
The club’s long-term aim is to encourage Flex-Up members to move up to full membership which several have already done but in the meantime it has proved invaluable in getting more golfers into C&B which can only be of benefit to all concerned.
If you are interested in Flex-Up or just getting into golf call Angus or Phil in the pro shop on 01562 700454 and find out more.
Alternatively see https://churchillblakedowngolfclub.co.uk/membership/flex-up-membership/
Main Image: Golfers on the 3rd
Sky Sports put C&B in the spotlight
It was a case of lights, cameras, action at Churchill & Blakedown Golf Club as Sky Sports came to film head PGA pro Angus Hoare and two of his talented charges in the summer.
Brothers Brandon Sarfo, aged 16, and Hayden, eight, are long-standing pupils of Angus and have both been capturing the golfing headlines.
Older brother Brandon, who plays off three, is part of the England Midland Training Squad U18s squad while Hayden qualified and recently shone in the World Junior Golf Championships in San Diego in July.
Haydn has a 22 handicap and has been wowing coaches and members alike with his smooth swing and golfing skills.
Sky Sports presenter Kirsty Edwards and cameraman spent three hours at the club where they filmed the juniors in action while also speaking to dad Claude and Angus.
“I’ve been working with Brandon for four years and Hayden for two years,” said Angus.
“Hayden qualifying for the World Junior Golf Championships attracted a lot of media attention. He already plays off 22 which is really pretty impressive for an eight year old and I think he could go all the way.
“I love coaching both the boys. With Hayden we work a lot on the fundamentals. He swings it lovely but if the fundamentals breakdown that is when the bad shots come so we work a lot on grip, posture and alignment.”
Churchill & Blakedown is making great strides in growing its juniors section with 30 on its books.
Angus, who is a PGA Advanced Professional, and fellow PGA pro Phil Lathwood are both passionate about encouraging more juniors into golf and welcomed the chance to showcase the club.
“We host a lot of coaching programmes at Churchill & Blakedown and also do a lot of out reach work in schools and also adults centres for those with learning disabilities,” added Angus.
“Golf is a great game for kids, both for the health and well-being of being outside but also for teaching them about life-skills. The more we can get playing the better.”
Any parents interested in getting their children into golf can call Angus and Phil on 01562 70045 4to find out more.