193 golf clubs are ‘ripe for acquisition’

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir July 28, 2017 16:24

An industry financial analyser has said that there are 193 golf clubs in the UK that are currently ripe for acquisition.

The research comes as a number of golf clubs, including Sapey in Worcestershire, The KP in Yorkshire and Witney Lakes Resort in Oxfordshire have all been sold to large leisure operators.

Plimsoll Publishing has said that the 193 unnamed clubs are currently financially weak but have good gross margins.

“These companies are over stretched and exposed to a hostile takeover,” said senior analyst Christopher Evans.

“The next 12 months will present a rare opportunity to acquire one of a number of clubs for a significant discount.

“New owners could liberate their untapped potential and realise a profitable acquisition.”

Twelve of the 193 clubs are major golf clubs with turnover of more than £5 million per year – and two of them saw turnover of more than £20 million last year.

More than half though have turnover of less than £1 million, with 37 less than £500,000.

The 193 clubs were identified after the company assessed 931 companies – predominantly proprietary golf clubs and their operators including large leisure groups, plus some golfing organisations listed on Companies House such as England Golf – and found 377 of them are in ‘financial danger’, with 83 described as ‘serial loss makers that chase sales at any cost’.

Evans stated that average sales growth in the industry is just two per cent, with a profit margin of just one per cent – but for those 83 clubs the average was growth of seven per cent for a profit margin of -18 per cent.

“A core of 83 serial loss makers will have to act more responsibly in 2018 or simply run out of cash,” he added.


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir July 28, 2017 16:24
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  1. Pete August 4, 18:53

    Yes, many of these questionable golf properties may be ripe for acquisition & conversion. Restyling the failing existing golf course and refurbishing into smaller quick-playing venues is highly important for acceptance by the new generation golfer. Reducing the course size, then developing the excess land use, allows developers a significant net gain in recouping expenses.

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  2. Giovanni August 2, 13:26

    Io un paio di eurini in tasca li avrei…ma mi sa che non bastano!!

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  3. Paul July 31, 10:40

    I have been saying as much for the last few months. Valuations are now becoming more sensible for those with a keen, sensible eye who have a clear vision of the business & with a vision of being in a specific place in the market. Buyer beware though, some businesses are on the market for obvious reasons & we are still in a position of over supply.
    In a former life golf course acquisitions was part of my role. Anyone out there seriously considering purchasing or growing golf course portfolios, just message me.

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