More than 3,600 would-be golfers seized the opportunity to give golf a go during Midlands Golf Week.
The week-long festival of golf held across seven counties attracted record numbers to take part in a wide range of activities from taster sessions and roadshows to coaching programmes and open days.
Figures released by the England Golf Partnership show that a total of 3,632 people got involved during Midlands Golf Week – up from 1,143 in 2011.
In Staffordshire there were over 650 participants with 21 people taking up golf club membership and 73 taking up ongoing coaching.
A number of innovative activities were put in place including Golf and Zumba, Fairways and Fodder, fashion shows, £20.12 offers and sessions for teachers. Twenty-four clubs held open days while the Friday of the week became Ladies Day with clubs running free ladies only coaching.
Sharon Heeley, regional development officer for England Golf – the new organisation formed by the merger of the English Golf Union and the English Women’s Golf Association – says: “Midlands Golf Week continues to go from strength to strength and with the growing support of clubs across the region it has become an important fixture on the golfing calendar in a very short space of time.
“The increasing number of clubs playing host to events – and the higher number of people going along for further coaching and on into golf club membership – shows the value of Midlands Golf Week, both to those interested in trying the sport and to the long-term future of the clubs.
“We are already planning an event for next year that will allow even more people to participate and to enjoy the health and social benefits of golf.”
Midlands Golf Week brings together development officers, county organisations, clubs and PGA professionals in seven counties – Shropshire, Herefordshire, Leicestershire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Staffordshire and Rutland.
This year’s event was publicised by a series of public roadshows, which offered the chance to swing a real golf club and hit golf balls in an inflatable net. Venues included supermarkets, garden centres, DIY stores and a Leicester Tigers rugby match.
Midlands Golf Week was endorsed by golfing celebrity Jasper Carrot and Dubai Desert Classic winner Robert Rock along with former Ryder Cup player Peter Baker and Ladies European Tour stars Rachel Jennings and Felicity Johnson.
For the first time, Midlands Golf Week secured sponsorship from The National Golf Show and Miri at le Spa. Nearly 200 people received free coaching at the Midlands Golf Week driving range bay at The National Golf Show, held at the NEC Arena in Birmingham.