Here’s the top three things I learnt about the golf industry in May 2019

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir May 27, 2019 11:11

From errors on social media leading to golf clubs being vandalised to measures to boost junior participation bearing fruit, The Golf Business editor Alistair Dunsmuir picks his three key trends of the last month. 

Social media needs to be better regulated to protect golf clubs

Fake news is not usually a phrase that’s associated with the golf industry, but two golf clubs in England were hit by attacks, one physical the other online, due to misunderstandings that became heavily amplified because of social media, in the space of a few days of each other.

Incorrect Facebook post led to golf club being vandalised

Firstly one club had its course dug up and signage defaced because a picture on Facebook suggested it was trapping badgers – when it was simply renovating its course, and then a club became the victim of a hate campaign because another venue in Australia with the same name was planning to cull animals – and social media users didn’t realise they were two separate golf facilities.

UK golf club attacked in bizarre case of mistaken identity

As the manager of one of the clubs told us: “Keep a very tight check on what is being said about your club on social media.”

One in ten golf clubs now offer GolfSixes

The GolfSixes League, a junior inter-club, six-hole tournament where children play against each other wearing branded clothing, was only launched last year and already there are 56 leagues, with 250 golf clubs and more than 3,000 children taking part.

GolfSixes League 2019 tees off

The rapid growth can be partly explained by the fact that more than a third of the 102 golf clubs that participated in it last year said it led to an increase in their memberships.

How many closed golf clubs could reopen as nine-hole venues?

In just the last few months, we’ve reported on the closures of Redhill and ReigateBrunston CastlePotters BarCarrick KnoweSandilandsFishwick HallRaglan ParcCanwick ParkSouthwoodNorth LuffenhamMaywoodThe Eastwood and The Brow golf clubs.

But how many could reopen as nine-hole venuse?

Earlier this year, we also reported on Oadby Golf Club, which closed down in 2012 but has now reopened as The Leicester Golf Centre but with nine holes instead of 18.

And now, Mount Ober Golf Club, which closed in 2015, is also planning to reopen as a nine-hole venue.

These smaller facilities cost less to maintain and offer a round of golf in about two hours – just as many golfers have said they don’t have the time to play 18 holes of golf.

 

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir May 27, 2019 11:11
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