Here’s the top three things I learnt about the industry in July

Jenny Yu
By Jenny Yu July 26, 2018 15:19

In his monthly round-up of trends and developments in the industry, The Golf Business editor Alistair Dunsmuir looks at how driving distances are getting both longer and shorter, and warns about tee time booking scams.

Staff who deal with tee time bookings might need anti-fraud training

An economic crime officer for Merseyside Police has written to several golf clubs advising them that fraudsters are booking tee times with compromised credit cards, and then cancelling them the following day, asking for refunds on different cards.

Police issue a warning to golf clubs about tee time booking scam

He added that he is “confident this crime is occurring beyond the borders of Merseyside”.

One obvious way to prevent being the victim of this crime is for staff to receive training that refunds can only go on the same card that was originally used to pay.

Educating members with greenkeeping information can pay off

Many golf clubs reported a series of complaints from members that their courses were brown during the dry summer of 2006. Since then, hundreds of course managers have started or improved communications with the club’s members, including this summer detailing that the brown conditions are normal during prolonged dry periods – a part of grass’ natural life cycle comparable to an animal hibernating over winter when food is scarce.

The comments The Golf Business has seen from members this year have been far more supportive of greenkeepers than they were 12 years ago.

This is what golf clubs in the UK look like at the moment

Driving distances are now getting smaller

A lot can happen in three months. The last survey earlier this year of driving distances – of professional golfers – found an average growth of three yards in just one year, concerning The R&A, which said this usually leads to calls for longer golf courses, something golf clubs do not need.

However, now a survey of amateur golfers has found that between 2015 and 2018 the average distance fell – by even more than three yards.

The divide between professional and amateur golfers is growing

It’s not clear what the cause of the discrepancy is, but the lack of driving distance growth in the amateur game is welcome news.

 

Jenny Yu
By Jenny Yu July 26, 2018 15:19
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