How golf clubs can tap into the rise of ‘staycation’ holidays

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir September 8, 2018 12:14 Updated

As the rise in incoming tourism due to the weak pound has led to leisure operators snapping up golf clubs, one lodge provider is offering golf clubs the opportunity to bring in and keep this extra revenue for themselves.

According to the UK’s largest golf resort management company, there has been a significant rise in ‘staycation’ golfing holidays in the last couple of years.

This is probably at least partly due to the weakness of the pound following the 2016 Brexit vote – which has also meant that golf clubs have reported a surge of enquiries from foreign visitors in recent months.

For example, Dunston Hall in Norwich has reported a boom in visitor numbers from Europe in the first half of 2018 while Royal Dornoch Golf Club said it recently experienced more visitors from the United States than ever before.

Neil Hampton, the club’s general manager, said: “Since Britain voted to leave the EU, the currency dip has led to a rise in incoming tourism. The low pound also means overseas travel is more expensive, leading to a rise in UK staycation business.

“It’s all good news for the golf industry.”

This perhaps also explains why a number of golf clubs have been sold to leisure operators in the last 18 months, including Sapey Golf Club in Worcestershire, which was bought last year by Wyldecrest Parks, a residential park and holiday home operator, and The KP Club in Yorkshire, sold to holiday firm Darwin Escapes.

Clearly, there is a lucrative opportunity for golf clubs to delve further into this market and Tingdene, which has a history of manufacturing modular hotels and accommodation, may be precisely the partner the industry is crying out for.

In June the company launched ‘The Loft’, an LABC-approved, luxury two-storey cedar-clad building supplied under THL Modular branding, which looks attractive against a golf course backdrop. The home is factory built, including full kitchen fit out, delivered to site and craned into place, with siting taking just one week, ensuring a lack of disruption to the golf club.

Following the success of this launch, Tingdene now offers a hotel version of The Loft for golf clubs to create further additional streams of revenue.

The Loft hotel pods can also be quickly assembled and within the space of one Loft holiday lodge, up to four hotel rooms can be fitted, all with en-suite bathrooms, thereby multiplying the amount of guests on site and revenue potential.

“With golf clubs generally having on-site facilities, such as clubhouses and restaurants, the stretch to offering room service and in-room dining to these hotel pods and lodges is a small jump,” explained Craig Sansom, senior business development manager of Tingdene.

“Each client can have a bespoke designed selection of hotel rooms to suit their business model, budget and style.”

Tingdene’s in-house team of architects, interior designers and project managers are able to help at each step of the way. The hotel version of the Loft also carries with it all of the benefits of the original Loft structure build, with 90 per cent of the work being carried out in a factory controlled environment

“The installation and build quality of each unit is incredibly high,” added Sansom.

“The hotel version of the Loft is a great means of adding additional space to already established hotels, resorts, leisure and holiday parks as well as golf clubs that can make use of a mixture of various types of accommodation – both lodges and hotel rooms.

“Given the strong demand at the moment from people both in the UK and abroad to play and stay at golf clubs, the financial potential of The Loft is enormous.”

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Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir September 8, 2018 12:14 Updated
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