Here’s our top three trends from the industry that took place in the last month

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir January 31, 2020 15:42

From more signs that there is growing demand for short golf courses to the benefits of partnering with other clubs to appeal to ‘staycation’ golfers, the first month of 2020 has been encouraging for the industry.

Partnering with other clubs to offer holidays to golfers can pay dividends

This has particularly been the case in recent years as the strength of the pound has attracted more overseas golfers to the UK – and more families to embark on ‘staycation’ holidays rather than visit abroad.

For example, Links with History, a group of four Fife golf clubs that offer opportunities for golfers to play at all of them under the same package, has said its overall year-on-year growth for 2019 is up nearly 25 per cent on 2018.

Short golf courses are in vogue

Sunningdale Heath’s 18-hole course is less than 4,000 yards long but that hasn’t stopped two PGA professionals taking over the venue, with one of them saying: “Because of the nature of our golf course, you can start a company golf day at 4pm, have a full event, and still be home by 10pm. You can still do a day’s work, and have a golf day too. People are always against the clock these days, so our unique golf course means that Sunningdale Heath becomes more relevant as each year goes by.”

Meanwhile, Gullane Golf Club’s Course No. 3, which is over 1,000 yards shorter than the other two, more famous courses at the club, has won a best golf course award at the Scottish Golf Tourism Awards. “In today’s world where time is precious, the course ticks so many boxes,” said the club’s secretary.

Some struggling clubs are converting from 18 holes to nine to survive

Craigie Hill Golf Club has said it is doing this to ensure ‘that we will survive as a golf club. We are confident of retaining members and attracting new faces. This safeguards the immediate future of the club and we can seek out a developer from a solid financial base.’

Scottish club to convert from 18 to nine holes to secure its future

Meanwhile, Hilltop Golf Course will downsize to a nine-hole course, but will also build an 18-hole footgolf course.

“The existing 18-hole golf course is failing,” said a spokesman. “Presently Hilltop has only 30 active members. The viability of the course and its long-term future is bleak and a radical approach is required in order to attract more players and members.”

Birmingham golf course to switch from 18 to nine holes

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir January 31, 2020 15:42
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  1. Pete USA February 13, 14:05

    You’re on the right course! Now, just add the new “Hybrid” golf ball to these shorter courses and you will have a full golf round, complete with all-club-use in half the time.

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  2. Auke February 11, 12:07

    The game of golf has had it’s head buried in the bunkersand for far too long. Now supply and demand are creating new ways of enjoying the greatest game ever invented. The reversable 9 holes at The Links Valley in Ermelo The Netherlands is a perfect example of what Golf 2.0 requires to be thriving in a sport brimming with potential for the entrepeneur and investor to have the guts to innovate in a business too traditional for too long ☯️⛳️‍♂️

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  3. Kristian February 3, 12:27

    Wow. Delighted to see so much interest being shown in our plans for Sunningdale Heath. Thank you.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Tom February 3, 12:24

    I can see this as a perfect fit for those who wish to play golf but can’t afford the time that long courses require. I wish these clubs success and if they manage to keep people in the game rather than loose them, I am all for it.

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