Here’s the top 3 things I learnt about the industry in December

Tania Longmire
By Tania Longmire December 31, 2018 16:11 Updated

From the stress that impacts greenkeepers to the growing trend of offering two distinct loops of nine holes rather than 18 holes, The Golf Business editor Alistair Dunsmuir reviews the final month of 2018.

Most businesses like corporate golf memberships but most golf clubs don’t offer one

A survey of more than 200 golf clubs in England and Scotland found that nearly three in four offer no corporate membership scheme exclusively for businesses in their pricing structure, even though nearly two-thirds of businesses would welcome one. Clearly, there is both potential demand and a gap in the market here.

Greenkeeping can be the best, and worst, job in the world


Getting up very early in the morning to work in the cold and rain for a not particularly high salary might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but, of the hundreds of greenkeepers we’ve profiled over the years, it’s remarkable how high the job satisfaction appears to be – because some people love working outdoors amid nature, in a team and where there’s a strong sense of pride in the accomplished work.

However, there are a number of reasons why stress levels are also high in the industry – so one greenkeeper has set up a mental health support group and it already has more than 330 members.


Clubs are shifting from 18-hole layouts to two distinct loops of nine holes

In recent weeks, 18-hole Ashludie Golf Club in Scotland announced that it is being reconfigured into two nine-hole courses and Haddington Golf Club, also in Scotland, has said it is no longer an 18-hole venue but instead it offers two distinct loops of nine holes. This gives the clubs the option to sell nine-hole tickets, run nine-hole competitions and host shorter forms of the game.

“The nine-hole option might be more appropriate for older golfers, physically less able golfers, juniors and golfers with less time available,” said a spokesman for Ashludie.

“It’s vitally important to explore new ways of attracting more people to the game. We must adapt to show that people can still enjoy golf despite having less free time,” added the manager of Haddington.


Tania Longmire
By Tania Longmire December 31, 2018 16:11 Updated
Write a comment


  1. jon January 2, 12:14

    The spokesman should correct his quote: “The nine-hole option might be more appropriate for golfers with less time available”. Implying that 9 holes is more appropriate for older golfers, physically less able golfers and juniors shows a very poor understanding of the market.

    Reply to this comment
  2. James January 2, 13:51

    Interesting albeit a short article. I think it would be really good to expand on the reference to the numerous reasons why the stress levels are high in the industry. Mental health awareness is increasing in many areas of life and work, which is great, so I do feel it would really help readers understand the challenges others face and not always assume everything is ok, especially when 330 signed up so quickly.

    Reply to this comment
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