Second golf club converts entirely to FootGolf

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir February 25, 2016 11:45

Grimsby Golf Centre has become at least the second golf club in the last few months to secure its future by converting to FootGolf, the sport that is a hybrid of football and golf.

The venue says that user numbers have increased threefold since the conversion, and it is now thought that more than 300 UK golf courses, more than 15 percent, will have a FootGolf course by this time next year.

More than 200 golf clubs have set up FootGolf courses on their venues in the last three years, but two have now decided to close down the golf side altogether and focus exclusively on FootGolf.

Grimsby, which is set in 44 acres, and featured a par 32, nine-hole course, was put up for sale last year, but its management team has decided to convert the golf course into a full-size 18-hole FootGolf course instead. The venue’s 26-bay floodlit driving range will remain in operation and the facility will be called ‘Grimsby FootGolf & Driving Range’.

grimsby

“Since its conversion to full-time FootGolf, user numbers have increased by a staggering 300 percent across the whole facility,” said spokesman Kieran Lawry.

“FootGolf is a remarkable phenomenon, it is transforming golf facilities across the country and I have no idea where this new extremely popular sport is going to end up,” said the venue’s owner, Colin Jenkins.

“It is extremely popular and brings a completely new audience to golf centres. Golf needs to be more ‘rock n’ roll’ and this louder and more accessible hybrid of golf and football is generating real revenues for facilities that need and want to find new customers.

“Almost anyone can kick a ball, so it is a very inclusive sport and one that does not require expensive equipment or lots of practice. It may not be the same as cricket’s Twenty20, but for those of us operating public facing golf facilities, it is fabulous. Golfing purists may look down their noses and tut, but it will bring more people into the sport of golf than any current promotion and it’s fun.”

Nine-hole Burstow Golf Club in Surrey recently became Burstow FootGolf Centre, an 18-hole venue where participants try to kick a football into large holes in as few kicks as possible. A typical round takes about 90 minutes and prices range from £6 to £15, typically higher than the green fees Burstow Golf Club used to charge.

Gareth May, head of UK development at UK FootGolf, the sport’s governing body, said the growth of FootGolf should be treated as an opportunity, not a threat, for golf clubs.

“The setup cost from just £2,995 plus VAT, is small in comparison to the revenue returns available. Once setup, the FootGolf course needs minimal maintenance and upkeep,” he said.

“Courses in 2015 reported up to 300 FootGolf rounds on a given day, and upwards of an additional £70,000-plus in green fee revenue, matched with significant increases in food and beverage spend. Offering FootGolf will help to re-invigorate a market that is sorely missing from mainstream golf. FootGolf is also proving a hit with under 16s, with huge numbers of children playing the sport for leisure with family, with football clubs or for birthday parties.

“Golf courses that have been operating FootGolf for 12 months or more are now reporting increases in golf club memberships and are attributing this increase to the number of new people visiting their facility for the very first time, trying FootGolf and then, as a consequence, trying golf later.”

UK FootGolf says that more than 200 UK golf clubs now offer FootGolf and the figure is expected to rise to more than 300 in the next 12 months.

“For more information on how your course can benefit visit www.ukfootgolf.com or e-mail info@ukfootgolf.com,” added Kieran.

Meanwhile, amid reports that in Japan with several golf courses have closed down, three golf clubs, in Tochigi, Hyogo and Shizuoka prefectures, have also set up specialised courses for FootGolf in the last few months.

 

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir February 25, 2016 11:45
Write a comment

No Comments

No Comments Yet!

Let me tell You a sad story ! There are no comments yet, but You can be first one to comment this article.

Write a comment
View comments

Write a comment

<

Join Our Mailing List


Read the latest issues

Advertise With Us

To advertise in the magazine or online, contact:

Email marketing@thegolfbusiness.co.uk
Tel 020 7803 2453

Twitter Timeline