The top trends of 2013

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir November 13, 2013 00:14

The top trends of 2013

The year 2013 has been incredibly important to the golf sector – predictions at the start of the year were that hundreds of clubs would close down following a participation drop in 2012 and the effects of several years of membership drops and economic woes. But what were the biggest trends of 2013? Golf Club Management reporters Emma Williams, Tania Longmire and Alistair Dunsmuir have compiled their top trends list:

40. Litigation against clubs is on the rise 

courtWhether it’s been by members, visitors, staff, suppliers or the general public, several legal cases against golf clubs arose in 2013, including at least two involving members of the public being hit by balls following wayward shots.

The cases have been varied: from one club being fined about £70 when a dog cut its paw on irrigation equipment to another facing a £33,000 bill when guests at a wedding suffered from food poisoning.

One club was fined when a greenkeeper became trapped between a buggy and a ride-on mower, and another faced a six-figure bill when a greenkeeper hurt his knee while mowing. A barmaid at one club even sued her employer when she fell into a diabetic coma – and her line manager failed to help her.


39. Clubs are still adapting to the Equality Act

genderequality-350x300The Equality Act might have been introduced in 2010, but clubs were still adapting to it in 2013.

This famously became the case when Wirrall Ladies’ Golf Club in Merseyside appointed a man as its captain at the start of the year.

It wasn’t quite as bizarre as it might seem though – the club, which has a male manager, has had both genders as members for a number of years, with today more men than women.

It decided to have two captains, one male and one female, to ensure it fully complied with anti-discrimination law, especially the Equality Act.


38. More clubs are purchasing defibrillators

Often, when a golfer suffers a cardiac arrest on a course where the club didn’t have a defibrillator, which can save the lives of people suffering heart attacks, the club purchases one shortly afterwards.

For instance, Nairn Golf Club in Scotland installed a defibrillator in its clubhouse – after a golfer suffered a non-fatal heart attack on the course.

All staff at the club have been trained by a local GP to use the equipment so they can react swiftly if a similar incident occurs again.

Club manager Yvonne Forgan said: “Installing a defibrillator provides the best possible help in the event of an emergency.

“An ambbernard gallacherulance can be here within a few minutes but when every second counts this piece of equipment could be invaluable.

“We hope we never have to use it, but it’s reassuring to know it’s there if needed.

“Like all other golf clubs, we have an ageing membership and having a defibrillator ready for an emergency response is something we feel is good practice.”

The campaign to get these machines into golf clubs received a massive boost in 2013, when one saved the life of former Ryder Cup captain Bernard Gallacher, who collapsed at a club in Scotland.

“The availability of a defibrillator was central in giving Bernard a chance of survival and, along with his wife Lesley and the support of the PGA and European Tour, he will be championing a campaign to make defibrillators widely accessible at golf courses around the UK,” said a spokesman.


37. Some courses are going to greater lengths to secure themselves

leylandiiClubs were the victims of a number of crimes in 2013, but none more bizarre than the theft of 91 leylandii trees from Crane Valley Golf Club in Dorset.

Sutton Green Golf Club got so fed up with trespassers vandalising buggies, flags, pins and tee and yardage markers, causing more than £20,000 of damage in a few weeks, that it took the unusual step of hiring security guards.

Club director John Buchanan said hiring the guards was at a huge cost to the club, but action had to be taken.


36. Football clubs are buying golf clubs…

Wigan AthleticAs every transfer window proves, the top football clubs have been recession-proof, something that cannot be said for most golf clubs. It is therefore, perhaps, not too surprising, that as football clubs prosper and become keen for more land, and golf clubs fold, that the former snaps up the latter.

This occurred twice in 2013. First Reading Football Club agreed a deal with the trustees of the charity the Royal Merchant Navy School Foundation, to buy nine-hole Bearwood Golf Club so that it can be converted into a training facility.

And then Wigan Athletic Football Club bought 18-hole Charnock Richard Golf Club, also to convert it into a training ground.

The second deal was particularly painful for staff and members – Wigan bought the club in early July and immediately said all fixtures and competitions for the rest of the golfing season would be honoured. However, before the month was out the golf club had been closed down.


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Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir November 13, 2013 00:14
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  1. @PGAMemberEd February 13, 09:25

    Want a refresher on golf’s top trends of 2013? Read them here:

    Reply to this comment
  2. Jonathan Gaunt (@jonathangaunt) November 17, 17:10

    The top trends of 2013 » Golf Club Management

    Reply to this comment
  3. iSpyGolf (@ispygolfpro) November 14, 15:35

    The top golf trends of 2013…

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  4. iain macpherson November 14, 11:58

    Energy has gone up 23% (CBI) in the last four years, and clubs still haven’t cottoned on that this is taking off their bottom line? – expect this to make the list next year! The managers therefore are still missing where savings long term can be made… something that big business looks at seriously in recession.

    Reply to this comment
  5. CMM Golf Recruiter (@GolfRecruiter) November 14, 10:02

    @GCM_mag have identified the top trends of 2013 #golf

    Reply to this comment
  6. GAF, Sverige (@gafsverige) November 13, 09:54

    “@GCM_mag: #GolfClubManagement The top trends of 2013” Topp 40 trenderna i England. Klicka er ner mot nr1. #golftrend

    Reply to this comment
  7. @ffpBrendan November 13, 09:23

    The top trends in the golf industry » Golf Club Management

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  8. 19th Hole Social (@19th_holesocial) November 13, 02:02

    #Golf #Panthersocial The top trends of 2013 – The year 2013 has been incredibly important to the golf sector –…

    Reply to this comment
  9. Golf Club Management (@GCM_mag) November 13, 01:34

    #GolfClubManagement The top trends of 2013

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