Here’s the top three trends we learnt about the golf industry in December 2019

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir December 31, 2019 09:30

From clubs switching to recyclable coffee cups to another club trying to secure its future by selling its land for housing and then relocating to a new venue, December was a month for thinking outside the box.

Golf clubs are investing in football

Two golf clubs have announced multi-million pound refurbishment proposals and they both include the development of football pitches.

According to East Sussex National Resort, offering this will be a potential additional revenue stream as grassroots teams are struggling to find an affordable facility that is dry, plus local schools can use it for matches and training. Kirkby Valley Golf Club wants to build pitches, meanwhile, to ‘improve the overall sporting offer to the local community’.

Liverpool golf club unveils major development plans

One advantage both clubs have, of course, is greenkeeping expertise and personnel on hand to help with any issues.

Golf club to build a football pitch on its grounds

Selling land for housing and relocating can secure a future

It’s a drastic step but it’s becoming an increasingly common one.

In 2019 Royal Norwich did this after 11 consecutive years of declining membership and it now offers a range of non-golfing incentives such as a microbrewery, bakery and family nature trails, plus has been selling points-based memberships.

Royal Norwich’s manager: Golf clubs need to diversify

Now Scraptoft Golf Club in Leicestershire wants to follow suit, and has had a new course designed along with an academy facility. The club says if it can sell its existing site for housing it will be financially secure for the future.

Leicestershire golf club is set to build a new course and relocate to it

There are many ways to go green

It doesn’t have to be a major change such as reducing all pesticides on the course or installing solar panels on the clubhouse roof.

Trentham Golf Club in Stoke-on-Trent has got rid of the paper cups it was using in the clubhouse – because they contained a plastic film that couldn’t be recycled. Now it has an entirely recyclable cup – and this has brought good publicity with it in the local press.

Golf club switches to fully recyclable cups

And Royal North Devon Golf Club also generated positive local publicity when it banned plastic tees on its course in a move that many other clubs might consider following.

‘The simple fact is that plastic tees are more likely to harm the birds and animals we share our wonderful course with,’ said a spokesman.

Royal golf club bans plastic tees

‘The greenkeepers will also tell you that they can do a great deal more harm to their equipment than a wooden tee.’


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir December 31, 2019 09:30
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