Here are three trends from the last month that has got the golf industry talking

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir February 28, 2020 15:10

From one golf club offering membership for £1 to another announcing it wants to invest £30 million in itself, there was something for everyone in February.

Could this be a new membership model for the industry to adopt?

Playing golf has traditionally meant being a member of a club or paying green fees per round and, a few years ago, we saw the rise of flexible memberships to cater for golfers who wanted to be members of clubs but only desired to pay an annual amount that reflected the few rounds they played each year.

Now, Orchardleigh Golf & Country Club in Somerset has launched a ‘pay per round’ membership policy in which golfers can join the club for just £1. They have to pay the usual green fee rate for every round they play after that, but for the £1 they will be able to maintain an official handicap, play in competitions and attend social functions.

Somerset golf club launches membership for £1 initiative

More venues believe that there is huge potential in heavy investments

Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club in Suffolk wants to undergo a £6 million project involving building five detached homes, that would in turn fund major improvements that would ‘safeguard its long term future’.

Suffolk golf club planning major £6 million refurbishment

Sand Martins Golf Club in Berkshire wants to build a hotel and health club to ‘secure the long-term sustainable future of the golf club’.

And Sefton Council will invest £536,360 in two municipal sites at Bootle Golf Course and Southport Golf Links, which will both see the building of new driving ranges, because it believes it will a generate a surplus of over £1 million over a 10-year period.

Local authority to invest heavily in golf because it ‘will deliver returns’

Major golf resorts are building lodges

First, Dundonald Links, which was bought by Darwin Leisure Development Fund for £4.5 million last year, said it will build more than 90 holiday lodges as part of a major transformation.

Club plans to woo a ‘major championship’ by 2021 with multi-million pound transformation

Then, Crown Golf announced plans to build 230 holiday lodges at its flagship venue, St Mellion International Resort in Cornwall.

“We have devised a masterplan to broaden St Mellion from its long-established and golf-centric business, into a new family-friendly luxury resort. The cornerstone of our vision is building 230 single-storey cedarwood lodges, together with a range of new facilities to attract the family staycation market,” said a spokesman.

Crown Golf is now a ‘property development company’

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir February 28, 2020 15:10
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  1. Tourgolfer February 28, 20:54

    Filling your Club up with flexible memberships is not the way forward. The key to any clubs success is knowing what your income is so you can budget for your expenditure. If the coronavirus takes a hold then the first clubs to be affected are those with substantial income from flexible memberships.

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  2. Peter February 28, 17:20

    The simple truth is, these are actually short term fixes in the fight for survival and keeping the business of today up and running ! Hopefully, they make it to “tomorrow ! ” The question is, what are they doing to prepare, plan and operate the business for “the day after tomorrow ?” A long term plan, knowledge about primary markets and those in it and contrarian strategies are only the start ! These trends are “rooted in” “today’s practices !” We need to be looking at collaborations, partnerships and people in the development of “Tomorrows’ practices !” Long term answers are not in doing more of the same. Clubs must start to look different, act different and find more ways to get to “yes” on more things !

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