Here’s three top trends from the UK golf industry in July

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir July 31, 2020 12:33

From the continuation in the surge of demand to play golf to concerns about a second wave, The Golf Business editor Alistair Dunsmuir looks at the UK golf industry in July 2020.

The boom has continued, but not all golf clubs have benefitted

There were fears that the surge in demand for golf would only last a few days but data has suggested that it has continued, with more clubs saying their futures are now secure – even though some were concerned that they would close down permanently back in March.

New data for June shows that the number of rounds of golf played was up by  a stunning 70 percent compared with June 2019.

But it’s far from all good news. Golf clubs that rely on revenue streams in addition to playing golf have taken a significant financial hit, particularly if they have hotels.

Patsull Park Hotel, Golf and Country Club near Wolverhampton became one of two clubs with accommodation to close down in July, while Donnington Valley in Berkshire had to revert to a pay-and-play facility. And municipal clubs have also been hit – Bulwell Hall Golf Course and Country Park may close later this year because its local authority now needs to make huge savings.

There’s renewed demand to buy golf clubs, as well as play at them

Seven golf clubs were sold in the first week of July alone, with more coming onto the market.

This surge in activity means Get Golfing CIO, which has now bought seven golf clubs this year, is a significant player in the industry, while The Club Company has overtaken Crown Golf as the UK’s largest golf club operator.

Some clubs do not want to close if there’s a second wave

One golf club closed in July, albeit only for about three days, just 20 days after it had reopened, when a member tested positive for coronavirus.

But some clubs do not think this is necessary.

One golf club owner has asked his county union to make a representation to England Golf to ensure that golf courses can remain open if there is a second wave.

“Like most clubs we were all set up to offer the community a very safe means of exercise. We all had to close while unregulated parks and forests stayed open. We should have been allowed to help people safely exercise, not hide under the table and let walkers and cyclists take over our courses,” he wrote.

“I think a second spike is likely. If that is the case please can England Golf support us in safely staying open rather than forcing us to close?”

 

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir July 31, 2020 12:33
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1 Comment

  1. Andrew S August 6, 11:15

    What legal rights do England Golf have to force or recommend that a golf
    club closes?

    It is about time media like you stood up to these diktats that are based
    on beliefs and opinions rather than evidence-based information.

    You’ll all have us wearing face nappies on the golf course, in the fresh
    air, before long.

    Reply to this comment
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