Here’s the top three things I learnt while editing The Golf Business in November

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir November 30, 2018 07:00 Updated

November was a paradox for the industry: several golf clubs closed while major companies invested in other venues for the first time. The Golf Business editor Alistair Dunsmuir offers his analysis

Modern demands have no respect for historic venues

November was a brutal month for the industry, with several historic golf clubs closing down or entering liquidation. Carrick Knowe Golf Club in Edinburgh, Fishwick Hall Golf Club in Lancashire and Potters Bar Golf Club in Hertfordshire were all founded in the early 20th century and are all now closed.

95-year-old Hertfordshire golf club ceases trading

Some golf clubs established in the 19th century are thriving at the moment, as well as some that are less than 20 years old. The key is how they adapt to modern demands.

There might need to be renewed focus on securing your trophies

Many golf clubs became vulnerable when the price of silver soared a few years ago, resulting in dozens having their trophies stolen in raids between 2012 and 2014.

Two golf clubs have thousands of pounds-worth of trophies stolen

Since then the price of silver has dropped and few clubs have reported raids targeting their trophies – until now.

At least two clubs were attacked in November and police are advising all clubs to be vigilant.

There is a confidence in golf that hasn’t been seen for years

This might seem paradoxical or at least sanguine given the number of clubs that have closed recently, but perhaps there are at least two tiers of golf clubs currently operating in the industry.

Another major firm buys its first golf club

Two major companies, hotel operator Arora Hotels and property investment firm Safeland, have both looked at the UK economy and, amid warnings about Brexit, both decided now is a good time to buy golf clubs for the first time in their histories. They purchased The Buckinghamshire GC and North Downs GC respectively, while hotel brand Hilton has also taken on another club – its first golf resort in Scotland – The Westerwood.

Hilton takes over first Scottish golf resort

Times are clearly tough – but these companies wouldn’t be investing if they didn’t think they could get a lucrative return.


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir November 30, 2018 07:00 Updated
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