The pure simplicity of the pathway makes growing the game more than just a throwaway line. It’s something easy to do and replicate. In fact, it is something I want to use to change the future of golf for the better on a worldwide scale. At no point did I set out to create something that would become my legacy to the game, however if it does, that will sit easy with me.
People and courses started to take notice, with my receiving emails and call from all around the world asking how to get involved, which turned my thoughts to how to upscale my simple idea. I was truly excited that I appeared to be on the verge of making a difference and that maybe in 150 years’ time, someone would buy a 1Club from a shop in North Berwick.
When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, this momentum was initially slowed by restrictions. But then something unexpected happened.
COVID- 19 made golf popular again through no thought or action by anyone involved in golf but merely due to the outdoor social distancing and safe aspects of the game. It also helped that many other activities were shut down. Many in the industry were over the moon and celebrating their financial good fortune brought by all the people flocking to golf. The good days were back.
It looked to me, though, as if the desire to innovate in golf stopped. The golf industry didn’t continue looking for ways to attract people to golf because there was no longer the need; in fact, industry members were turning customers away through being fully booked or out of stock.
Golf is a unique sport in that it both draws on the traditions of the past, yet to grow it needs to harness new ideas. We cannot just rest on the short-term laurels created by pandemic-related restrictions on activities other than golf.
An example: between shutdowns here in Melbourne, I had a 24 year old woman come for a 1Club session because in her words, “golf is the new craze”. My concern is that if we try and push new golfers into a game through a system that failed 25 years ago, we won’t capture many of the people who we otherwise might.
We need a catalyst to keep the momentum going and to take golf to new frontiers. 1Club is that catalyst. 1Club goes back to golf’s roots by making the game simple, affordable and fun, even while it is also a unique tool for the future.
The rest of the world is in a period of accelerated change, pivoting businesses overnight to be able to operate and succeed in the new climate. Innovation will be more important than ever.
And 1Club is part of that innovation.