Strategic planning proves key at Stranraer Golf Club
As part of its strategic planning for 2008, the club's junior
section identified areas of significant importance including: the
need to attract new juniors and sustain those from 2007; a large
and growing number of juniors with handicaps in the 36 and above
range to have coaching from a PGA Pro; insufficient girl members; a
need for more competition opportunities. These were prioritised
into eight key objectives.
In preparation for the 2008 season members responsible for the
club's junior section created a Strategic Plan for the year. Its
start point was the Scottish Government's guidelines on how sport
can contribute to local and national outcomes.
There is a strong correlation between the club's 2008 objectives
and the factors considered important to the future of junior golf
in Scotland. These are:
Accessibility. The plan sought to target new and
existing members by: attracting children aged seven and over living
in the Rhins area for clubgolf Stage 1 and 2 coaching: sustaining
participation in golfers aged 18 through Stage 3 coaching;
increasing participation from 'hard to reach' groups, in particular
girls and children with disabilities.
Welcoming environment. The club planned to develop as a
'community hub', bringing parents, children, extended family
members and other adults together.
Community interaction. The club planned to develop its
already strong links with Stranraer Academy and its associated
primary schools by meeting teachers and ensuring they were
represented on the Junior Committee. Additionally they committed to
supporting the 'Community Sports Leader Award' and providing access
to its course for the annual schools competition.
Structured coaching programmes: The club planned to
improve technical performance levels in its golfers aged 18 and
under through clubgolf Stage 2 and 3 coaching. The local PGA
professional would be utilised and talent identification
procedures, which would facilitate access to local and regional
coaching pathways, created.
Provision of facilities: To meet its strategic
objectives the club identified resources required. These included
providing funding for PGA coaching, transport to events, golf
equipment, access to the course and creation of 9, 12 and 18 hole
playing opportunities for every junior to enjoy the challenge of
golf at a level relating to their own stage of development.
By creating a development plan with clearly defined objectives,
responsibilities, success criteria and achievements, the club had
'tangible results and evidence' that indicated how the Junior
Section had benefited.
None of its targets were easy to achieve and detailed planning
was essential to meet them. Yet the club achieved the majority of
the objectives in its 2008
Of particular note is the club's success in attracting an
increasing number of girls and children with disabilities. The
numbers of girl members (being coached at all three Stages) doubled
from 12 in 2007 to 24 in 2008. Five children with disabilities were
members and received coaching at all three Stages.
Twenty seven new juniors joined the club and 29 returned from
2007. The expanding junior membership resulted in over 100 under 18
year olds participating in and enjoying golf at Stranraer GC in
Nineteen juniors progressed from clubgolf Stage 2 coaching to
playing in competitions on the course. Between 50 and 55 juniors
played 9, 12 or 18 holes on a regular basis. Some competed in local
and regional competitions, namely the Tom Lehman at Troon and the
Southerness Junior Competition.
Two girl members were invited to the SLGA Talent Identification
day at Stirling. Two juniors attended regional coaching, six
attended local coaching.
By allocating funds to PGA Professional coaching, the club
created a successful mechanism where its juniors were given free
PGA coaching from a local professional during school holidays.
Success was also achieved in providing coaching for juniors each
week at Stages 1, 2 & 3. This was done by producing a formal
coaching plan at the start of the 2008 season.
Junior Convenors made regular contact with the local schools; 45
pupils played in the Schools competition (June); 'Community Sports
Leader Award' provision was put in place.
A further member qualified as a Level 1 coach and joined the
club's coaching team. The solution to having large numbers of
children attending the club's Stage 1 and 2 sessions at particular
times of the year was for all three coaches to attend, thus keeping
numbers at an acceptable ratio.
The combination of the poor weather and large groups of children
posed a challenge. All three coaches are resourceful and coped
well, turning potential negative experiences into positive ones. On
such evenings juniors enjoyed team and group based activities. They
left these sessions eager to return for more the following
The club's Parents' Night was well attended. The club restaurant
was patronised by parents and other adults on Junior (Friday)
evenings and during competitions.
Having large groups of juniors 'taking over' the club every
Friday evening between April and October has created a demand for
more adult volunteers. There is a strategic objective to meet this
demand in 2009.
The club now plans to target the parents of participating
children, perhaps to do more than just support junior evenings.
Stranraer GC recognises there may also be opportunities to attract
new members from this large group.