New memberships surge 77% year-on-year at Formby Hall Golf Resort & Spa following local hero Tommy Fleetwood’s role in Europe’s Ryder Cup triumph in October. Tony McDonough reports
It has barely been two months since top golfer Tommy Fleetwood and his European team-mates secured victory against the US in the Ryder Cup.
But the effect on the golf club where Tommy learned to play the game has been dramatic. In the weeks since 16½-11½ win at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club in Rome, Formby Hall Golf Resort & Spa has seen a 77% surge in golf memberships and enrolments.
This compares to the same period in 2023. Formby Hall has also had a 20% year-on-year increase in footfall to its Toptracer driving range and a 43% increase in rounds played on its Woodhey Dunes course. Sales at the club shop are also up 9%.
Tommy Fleetwood grew up in Southport and learned to play as a young boy at Formby Hall. He opened his first Tommy Fleetwood Academy at the club – the TFA Formby Hall – in 2019 under the leadership of his junior coach, Norman Marshall.
At the academy junior golfer enrolments are up by 28% compared with pre–Ryder Cup levels. Calls to the TFA to find out more are up 200% and website visits are up by 219%.
Mark Williams, golf manager and head professional at Formby Hall, said: “Formby Hall has been associated with golf’s elite since we opened in 1996. Having such strong links to one of the world’s best golfers in Tommy Fleetwood is a privilege.
“You can’t help but feel inspired by Tommy’s performance in Rome, and to see him secure the winning point for team Europe in his Sunday singles match was amazing.
“It’s fantastic to see how his achievements have inspired junior and adult golfers to take up golf, we’ve had everything from complete novices to experts get in touch with us since the Ryder Cup.”
Tommy won Formby Hall’s junior champion title in 2003 and made his first hole-in-one on the 16th hole aged just 12.
At the TFA Formby Hall, Norman Marshall uses his decades of experience and time with Tommy to create structured coaching programmes that include the games and drills that Tommy used as a developing golfer.
Norman added: “Golf is a powerful sport that teaches many life lessons. The peak in interest in the TFA just goes to show what a role model and inspiration Tommy is.
“We have a range of coaching programmes with one-to-one lessons and group coaching for men, women and juniors and it’s the demand from new juniors that we’ve seen a real increase post-Ryder Cup.”
Formby Hall Golf Club comprises The Old Championship Course, with its wooded areas and water hazards providing definition and character to a course that has hosted the European Seniors, Challenge Tour and Euro-Pro Tours.
The Woodhey Dunes nine-hole course is built on sand and plots its way through dune style terrain. Tcourse features generous putting greens and strategically placed bunkers.