It’s celebration time for Invergordon Golf Club in 2018 when they toast their 125th anniversary – and they are a hoping a dynamic development plan will help sustain them for many years to come.
Offering a scenic parkland course in Ross-shire, Invergordon have undergone a complete review of their workings as they prepare for their special year. Ultimately, they are looking to reward the community for 125 years of support.
The Club has already assisted local charities this year to the tune of tens of thousands of pounds by allowing events to be hosted without fee – and they’ve now decided to further show their commitment to the area by supplying completely affordable golf.
In a move completely supported by its membership, the club have come up with some innovative ideas to ensure golf is the talk of the town.
Several new joining categories have been introduced to help boost membership, including a cheaper Country membership and a Highland membership – packages designed to get people back into the sport, aligned to Scottish Golf’s Get into Golf programme.
The club are also seeking to boost their junior numbers, with a special offer to the children of Invergordon in the 125th anniversary year. The club is offering a free junior membership for Under-17s and, after signing up, the juniors will be taught etiquette, rules and the basics of golf from volunteer coaches.
“We are giving back to the community and golf has to be accessible to all,” said new Club Captain Bryan Ronald, a former club junior who has returned to the area. “In this special year ahead, we have made it affordable and are keen to promote family and junior golf.
“Invergordon has the perfect set up for all ages and abilities and we want to introduce those who may otherwise not have the chance to play. The social benefits are there for all to see. Golf encourages mental focus, teaches us to follow rules, be polite and socially interact. By looking after our community we can look after our sport.
“If you have a son or daughter who wishes to play, or you too want to get involved, then do not hesitate to contact us. A set of golf clubs for Christmas may be a good idea this year!”
The club has already been working as part of the ClubGolf junior programme and now Fraser Crawford, Scottish Golf School & Community Officer, has linked up with Jake Williams, High Life Highland Active School Coordinator, to help develop the School to Club links. Invergordon are also recruiting more volunteers who will qualify as PGA Level 1 coaches in March, ready for the golf season teeing off in April.
Willie MacKay, Scottish Golf’s Regional Club Development Officer for the Highlands & Islands, has also made contact with PGA Professionals who will visit Invergordon GC and deliver over 20 hours of professional coaching with Roving Pro funding reducing costs to a minimum.
Ryder Cup Development Funding can also be accessed for beginner adults that take up golf through the Get into Golf scheme.
MacKay said: “The committee at Invergordon Golf Club have to be congratulated on their vision for the future of their club. Their membership and visitor numbers both grew in 2017, but they clearly want to raise the bar further.
“They have consulted with their members and used the feedback from a members’ survey to deliver an ambitious development plan. They have established the foundations with a stable committee and course improvements, while their clubhouse has also enjoyed a makeover.
“With the ethos of added value to membership they have a focus that will retain members. With a well-planned junior coaching structure they will produce future committee members and quite likely Captains for their 150th year celebrations. But for 2018 and their 125 years as a golf club they will leave significant legacy by the end of the year.”
The final word from Captain Ronald, who said: “Invergordon is a community organisation run by volunteers to improve the lives and provide enjoyment for everyone in the area. We don’t pay to play golf, we pay to be part of a great club where golf is a bonus.
“Let’s enjoy our special year and for those who wish to join our celebrations contact us on email@example.com For those who can’t keep an eye on www.invergordon.co.uk and more fun on our Facebook page.”