The launch of online golf club, Ready Golf (www.readygolf.co), provides nomadic golfers with access to a range of high quality golf courses for a single membership fee whilst at the same time joining an online community of avid, like-minded golfers.
Without having to pay multiple green fees, members can play as much golf as they like over a group of different golf courses in return for an annual subscription, negating the need to have a home club where you are ‘obliged’ to play the majority of their golf.
Another key attraction for golfers not affiliated to a club is that Ready Golf tracks scores played at its member courses which it uses to offer members an accurate handicap index, in accordance with the new World Handicap System (WHS), which members can use when playing with other members.
Indeed it is Ready Golf’s plan to have its handicap system recognised by places like the Old Course at St Andrews which allows anyone with a handicap from a variety of online organisations to play on their links.
With golf now one of the few sports that is allowable under the lockdown easing, Ready Golf provides golfers keen to get back to the fairways with access to a variety of golf courses that are currently concentrated in Kent, Surrey and Sussex.
Going forward however, Ready Golf plans to expand its portfolio of clubs on a national basis as it establishes itself in the golfing market.
Several Kent golf clubs have already committed themselves to the Ready Golf stable; the highly-acclaimed championship links at Littlestone in Romney Marsh as well as its second course, The Warren.
Alongside Littlestone, the downland track at West Kent Golf Club, a well-established and highly-respected private members' club founded in 1916, and the Broome Park Golf Club that boasts a layout created by Donald Steel, have also signed up to Ready Golf.
In addition Bletchingley Golf Club in Surrey is on board. A mature, tree-lined course with some magnificent oaks, Bletchingley offers panoramic views over the North Downs and the Weald which create the perfect backdrop for a layout which has made best use of the interesting and undulating topography whilst a stream provides several interesting water features.
Cowdray Park in Midhurst, Sussex, where golf has been played for over 100 years, is also on board. Originally designed by Herbert Fowler and J F Abercromby, this scenic course is set in the tranquil surroundings of the 16,500-acre Cowdray Estate. This charming par 70 layout enjoys stunning views over south Downs National Park and its fairways blend seamlessly into the lightly-wooded downland landscape making it a wonderful place to play golf.
Meanwhile a host of clubs are waiting for committee agreement to become members and following the recent reopening of golf courses, it looks likely that many clubs will turn to Ready Golf in increase their income streams after a period of reduced green fees and tough financial uncertainty.
Now is a great time to join Ready Golf as the first 25 new sign-ups will receive a 10% discount in June and then in July the full price of £895 will be in place with members paying their annual fee in three or six monthly instalments in the first three or six months of membership so avoiding a big lump sum payment when joining up.
Membership represents excellent value for anyone playing 20 or more rounds per year at the member courses which sit in golf’s mid-market in terms of quality with median green fees that range from around £30 to £80.
These are often the clubs whose quality is devalued by cheap green fees or overshadowed by nationally renowned courses that regularly feature at the top of course rankings.
“As a keen golfer, I have always enjoyed playing a variety of golf courses every month and, over the last couple of years, I realised that there was a significant number of golfers like me who want to experience playing different courses throughout the year,” says Tom Bishop, Ready Golf’s founder and director.
“So I looked into a way of providing access to quality golf courses on a regular basis without having to spend a lot of money on rising green fees and came up with the Ready Golf concept which delivers by giving golfers the opportunity to play a range of good courses for a reasonable annual fee. And of course right now, it’s an excellent way to get back into golf immediately after it has been off the agenda for several months.”
With the remuneration that it provides the golf courses, Ready Golf is able to offer more flexibility than corporate membership and also offers far more playing options than other similar companies in the market.
An added bonus is that Ready Golf also allows members to bring guests at special rates to any of the member club whilst individual members also can link up with each other on existing bookings and meet fellow golfers and potentially, make new friends.
Golfers can also join Ready Golf as a group allowing you to play with golfing buddies (and which opens up discount opportunities) or as an individual giving members the chance to meet fellow, like-minded golfers. Further down the line, there will also be social events and members-only competitions organised to participate in.
On a more practical note, playing statistics for each member will be recorded and displayed online as will each member’s current playing handicap which will be managed by the Ready Golf team.
For more on Ready Golf, please visit www.readygolf.co.