Good Morning Golf – I am very lucky to have you in my life

Imagine the difference it would make to the “world of golf” if one more person every week woke up thinking the same thing?

How do we “convert” those that have never “worshiped” golf into “followers” and “believers”? What is it that really puts them off getting involved with the game?

Golf is perceived as;

  • Time consuming
  • Expensive
  • Complicated
  • Elitist
  • Difficult

Whether you agree or not – perception is reality.

It’s time to think creatively about how we can get a more positive message out to local communities, helping them to “Discover Golf” and encourage engagement with the game.  Golf members are a loyal group of “golfing disciples”, living in their local community who, given the right message to “preach”, could transform peoples perceptions about golf and what it has to offer.

A simple, easy to understand “Golfing Gospel” could be a good starting point. It would encapsulate all the great reasons why people should consider getting involved with their local golf club. The Golfing Gospel would give all “believers” a consistent and compelling message to communicate.

Before we start writing the Golfing Gospel – we will take time to consider and understand the objections in greater detail.

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Society Faces a Mental Health Time Bomb

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How are we going to cope with a 51% increase in people aged 65+ by 2030? How will we help and care for people with chronic disease? ( forecast to double in people over 65). How can we encourage and support healthy ageing? How can we reduce the blight of loneliness in our communities? How can we afford to pay for the increase in health & care provision?

These are all critical questions that need to be addressed otherwise we are facing social meltdown and healthcare breakdown.

The mental well-being of society is becoming an increasingly worrying issue facing us all. We don’t seem to have grasped the fact that urgent action and new thinking is required on mental health provision.

The stats are pretty scary;

  • 1 in 6 of us experience mental health problems every day
  • 1 in 4 will experience mental health problems in our lifetime
  • 850,000 are living with Dementia – set to double in the next 30 years
  • Mental health issues cost the UK economy £105 bn every year
  • The cost of mental health to the NHS is £21 bn a year and £30 bn to employers (stress related absence).
  • The NHS is facing a £30bn shortfall in funding (Nuffield Trust)
  • Only 5% of Local Authority budgets spent on Mental Health
  •  Local Authority funding will have fallen by £20bn (-43%) at the end of the austerity phase.

So to Summarise – More people will experience mental health problems, the costs to the NHS and the economy is set to rise and severely stretched resources will reach breaking point very soon.

Unless we start embracing new initiatives that improve the mental well-being of communities, we are facing a “social abyss” that will destroy the very fabric of society.

Let’s get golf on the political agenda

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It’s interesting to hear our politicians kick around the NHS “political football” or should it be, hit around the NHS political “golf ball”. They talk about promising an extra £8bn a year funding for the NHS – which is great – but they don’t talk about the projected £30bn annual shortfall facing us if we don’t address the social time bombs facing society as a whole.

An ageing population with increasing mental health issues, a rise in obesity and more people socially isolated is stretching the NHS and local authorities to breaking point.

The NHS and social services are on their knees. The proposed integration of health & social care is welcomed – but it will be a slow, complicated and controversial process. Vulnerable people in our communities will suffer as well-meaning bureaucrats concentrate on infrastructure and process, rather than the people requiring health & social care.

Local authorities are already struggling to deliver quality care in their communities as their budgets have been drastically reduced.

Some local authorities don’t even put social care as a “priority spend”. The voluntary sector and families are being relied upon more and more to pick up the pieces and deliver care themselves. This cannot be the right way to improve the health & wellbeing of local communities and our loved ones.

New primary care initiatives are urgently required that encourage healthy ageing and social cohesion. Let’s create new services that allow vulnerable, disadvantaged and socially isolated citizens to enjoy healthier, happier and dignified lives in their local communities.

Golf has a major part to play in helping realise this ambition.

The journey starts here!!

Inspiration

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This is how it all began

As a passionate golfer I have followed the decline of the sport I love with great concern.  It became apparent that golf is finding it difficult to transform itself into a modern customer-led business. It has not kept pace with lifestyle and demographic changes within society. It is now trying to “catch-up” but has some significant barriers to overcome. There are some excellent initiatives to encourage participation and numerous golfing organisations trying to transform its fortunes. However, the message is not getting through to enough new customers.

At the same time I became increasingly concerned about the “social time bombs” facing our communities. I began to research the issues of mental health, obesity, loneliness and an ageing population. It was apparent that new ways of improving public health were desperately needed – otherwise the spiraling costs would bankrupt the public sector and lead to community breakdown.

I then started to think about how golf could play a part in creating healthier communities. I soon discovered that combining the features and benefits of golf with the issues facing Society created some compelling partnership opportunities.

This has led me to develop a range of unique products and services that can help transform the fortunes of golf whilst creating stronger, happier and healthier communities.

This was my inspiration for Golf In Society.

Ethos

Our aim is to make a positive contribution to the health & wellbeing of local communities through golf.

Our approach is to make golf fun, enjoyable, rewarding and accessible to more people.

We are passionate about providing people in disadvantaged, vulnerable and sensitive situations with the chance to get their lives back on track – we call it their “Happy Place”.

Mutual respect, dignity, trust and integrity are our core values – all wrapped up in compassion and kindness – with a sprinkling of daily happiness – That’s our special recipe!!

Every day we ask ourselves and our customers “where is your happy place – Let’s pay it a visit”.

If we take one more person each day to a happier place – then that’s success for us.