British Putting – a New Game Within a Game

British Putting – a New Game Within a Game

British Putting was launched at the GolfBIC 2016.

Reaction on the day was fantastic – it seemed that all everyone could talk about for the remainder of the event was British Putting!   One golf course owner acclaimed the new venture as “the most obvious solution to golf’s problems – and the answer has (literally) been under our feet all this time !!”
Ever since cricket managed to reinvented itself so powerfully with Twenty-20, the golfing world has been looking for a similar equivalent: a shorter form of the sport, one that could be enjoyed by everyone, one that did not require a deep and profound understanding and skill level to enjoy, something that offered immediate excitement and fun.
With an estimated 5,000 grass and artificially-surfaced putting greens throughout the country, the facilities already exist, but are (in most cases) under-utilised and lying empty for much of the time.  The staging of putting competitions can change all that and bring people – both golfers and non-golfers – to your facility.
Directly after the launch of British Putting, Co-Founder Jerry Kilby was approached by a golf club manager from a club in the Midlands, who asked if British Putting would be interested in getting behind a national schools putting championship.  “Absolutely” Jerry replied, “What a great idea.  Perhaps this could be a team putting competition, with 4 or 6 kids from each school playing as a team, wearing their school colours, playing against and alongside teams of players from other schools”.  Since that initial discussion, plans have progressed and we are hopeful that we can announce details of this event in next month’s issue of Golf Features. 
Another golf course owner asked about the rules of putting competitions and restrictions on what handicap was required.  “There are no rules or restrictions”, Jerry’s partner and fellow Co-Founder Colin Jenkins replied, “we would like everyone to come and putt, as everyone CAN putt.”  
 
And plenty of calls have been coming into the office since the launch.  One, from Thomas Barter at Bovey Tracey Golf Centre, near Exeter, showed that golf courses can see how to ‘monetise’ their putting green.  “Our putting green is very close to our clubhouse terrace and I can see us running putting competitions on many summer evenings and every weekend, as the kids and putt whilst parents eat and drink close by.”
 
Many golf clubs, golf centres and indoor facilities have already submitted their details to British Putting via the website www.britishputting.com and all facilities with any type of putting green are invited to register with British Putting and start planning your putting competitions for the spring and summer, unless you have an indoor putting green, in which case you can get started right away.
One private members golf club is planning to hold a putting competition over a weekend for members to bring their families, to play as a family team against other members’ families.  What a great way to get the spouses, partners and kids involved in the club, and show how family-friendly the golf club really can be. 
British Putting is open to absolutely anyone and any facility can join up and host events and be part of the organisation.   British Putting will be sharing revenue-generating ideas and case studies (like the ones mentioned above) with registered venues every month, so please register and get involved. 
The cost is just £12 per month and you will be able to nominate one of your putting competitions in April, May or June as the qualifying competition for the British Open Putting Championships, the finals of which will be held at Basildon Golf Course in Essex, with its fabulous new putting green on September 1st & 2nd this year. 
We will be covering this in much more detail in the coming months. There are so many great opportunities to seize with this sport within a sport, which is now emerging to far greater prominence.
 
British Putting also are proud to announce their two first Corporate Partners, Srixon and Mercedes Benz.  Srixon President, Leslie Hepsworth made the following comment:
 
“We are delighted to support this excellent initiative and are sure that it will generate a lot of new golfers as well as being a great sport in its own right. We will also be providing all finalists of the British Open Putting Championship with their choice of our premium Z Star balls.”
 
We will bring you more news on our corporate partners as this develops over the coming months.
Andrew Kerr, the owner of Leen Valley Golf, Nottinghamshire, has seized the initiative and has already started work on increasing the size of his putting green from around 300 square metres by about four times and incorporating several tiers and plenty of undulation. Andrew made the following comment:
 
“Focusing more heavily on putting is a great idea. We have already done very well with FootGolf and this is another way of drawing people to our site and interesting them in a golf related activity, but one they can enjoy immediately. We have already set about creating a far more interesting layout, which will start and finish right next to our patio, adjacent to our bar and restaurant. We are very excited about the extra trade this will attract this summer.”
 
Golf Features will be back to cover the opening of the new putting course at Leen Valley in the near future.
We are very happy to help any operator to improve their putting course, or even create a new one. The important thing to remember is that the surface will always improve if the grass has a chance to grow well in the season. Sensible drainage is a sound principle and irrigation virtually essential. But there is no need to go to huge lengths to build the green to USGA specification, if the budget is modest.  Please look to build in as many features as you can – swales, humps, hollows, tiers and switchbacks will make for a fascinating layout, but if they can’t be mowed with a ride on mower, then you will have ongoing practical problems.  Colin Jenkins elaborates:
 
“Any operator is welcome to come and see our green at Basildon, which will open in May. The grown-in process started with September seeding and has been greatly helped by the mild, wet winter, which was not particularly good for trade, but ideal for germinating seed. Our green is about ¾ acre and has all sorts of lumps and bumps and will provide endless fun for many years to come. To build such a green will cost most operators £30-50,000, depending on how much they can do themselves and how much suitable material they can access on site. A green of this size can easily cope with 36 holes and hold over 100 happy putters with ease. It enhances the existing golf offering and allows for new players to cut their teeth and integrate with the existing golfers. I recommend this style of new, enlarged super-sized putting green to anyone keen to grow their business and Jerry and I are happy to help you do it. Call us free of charge for an informal chat and we can arrange further paid consultancy at your facility if you wish.”
 
Please contact Colin Jenkins 07768887033, colin@ogro.org, or Jerry Kilby 07821 908597, jerry@kandagolf.com 
 
To find out more information, sign up and register your interest, please visit: www.britishputting.com