All Welsh golf clubs given 5 month affiliation fee holiday

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir May 26, 2020 16:20

All golf clubs in Wales are to be given a five-month affiliation fee payment holiday to help them cope with an estimated £5.6 million loss caused by the coronavirus crisis.

The move, which will cost golf’s governing body in Wales, Wales Golf, more than £250,000, comes as almost all golf clubs in Wales have reopened and experienced huge demand. However, Wales Golf believes the lockdown has cost clubs across Wales around £5.6 million in lost revenues, with about 550 staff furloughed.

“We would like to congratulate golf clubs in Wales who have reopened safely and within the Welsh government guidelines,” said Wales Golf chief executive Richard Dixon.

Richard Dixon

“Also we understand there is financial difficulty for clubs across Wales as a result of the course closures from the coronavirus crisis. So, we have decided to waive five months of affiliation fees to Wales Golf.

“The support from club members helps us provide the best possible advice and support for those clubs and to develop our sport for the future.

“Crucially, though, we took the decision to keep most of our development staff working full-time through this period to support clubs with assistance in closing courses, maintaining facilities, applying for grants, furloughing staff and then preparing for re-opening.

“However our costs in some areas, such as performance and championships, have been lower and we have also chosen to dip into our reserves to help clubs at this time.

“It is a relatively small gesture to each club, but one we thought important to make to show everyone is in this together trying to ensure golf in Wales comes out of this period in the strongest possible state.

“We would also like to congratulate clubs which have re-opened efficiently in very different circumstances, there have been many examples of good and safe practice.

“Clubs must carry on applying Welsh government and R&A guidance on safe play protocols as well as an appropriate distance of local travel.

“Clubs in Wales have been visited by the police and Health and Safety officials to ensure they are operating within the guidelines. I’m pleased to say all those visits have been constructive so far, but clubs need to remain vigilant.”

Affiliation fees are a small amount added to the annual subscription of every member of a golf club for its affiliation to Wales Golf.

Wales Golf has also furloughed staff from the championships and performance teams, while many remaining staff took a voluntary 20 per cent pay cut including the whole senior management team.

“Wales Golf staff were in contact with nearly all its 140 affiliated clubs on a weekly or fortnightly basis, which started two weeks prior-to the ‘stay at home’ messaging on 23 March,” explained Wales Golf director of development Hannah McAllister.

“During the lockdown, all staff worked from home with meetings taking place either by conference call or video link, with senior staff and development staff meeting via video conference every morning.

“We received a number of positive messages from clubs, including via email and on social media. We also surveyed clubs on our support with our website homepage and development officer correspondence highlighted as among the most useful updates.”

Last month Scottish Golf announced all its clubs could received a 25 per cent affiliation fee refund.

 

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir May 26, 2020 16:20
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2 Comments

  1. Steve B May 28, 10:11

    England Golf – the silence is deafening

    Reply to this comment
  2. Tim K May 27, 10:00

    So Scotland and now Wales good for them , over to you England Golf and the regional unions your move

    Reply to this comment
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