Clubs are reintroducing waiting lists due to strong demand

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir August 10, 2020 06:58

Two more golf clubs, one of which nearly closed down recently, have reported that they have been ‘inundated’ with new members since the venues reopened.

North Inch Golf Course in Perth had its future ‘hanging in the balance’ in 2014, but the turnaround in its fortunes has been enhanced by a post-lockdown boost, and it hopes to finish a year it started with 175 members, with more than 400 members.

Eleven-year-old Amy Young has been welcomed as the venue’s 100th new season ticket holder, signing-up with her dad Alan.

Alan Young and daughter Amy have joined the rush to sign-up to the North Inch Golf Course

Pro Niall McGill, who took on the task of reviving the parkland course on the banks of the River Tay before the 2014 Ryder Cup was hosted at Gleneagles, feared the revival of recent years would be stopped in its tracks by the pandemic fall-out.

“The uptake in season tickets since the Scottish government allowed us to reopen the course has been amazing. It’s great to see so many people of all ages being attracted back to golf, or taking it up for the first time,” he said.

“Alan is typical of many of our new season ticket holders. He played casually before but with a bit more time on his hands he was keen to step it up and Amy was keen to get involved.

“We have attracted a fair mix. The biggest group has been adults, who have either been members of clubs before or who have seen the benefit of joining.

“But we have seen nearly 20 complete beginners joining through our ‘Get Into Golf’ package and a lot in the 20-35 age group, who might have been playing football or fives, taking in games, exercising at gyms or maybe just heading to the pub before lockdown.

“I must admit I was fearful of the impact the lockdown would have on our plans for the North Inch. We had no idea when we would be able to reopen.

“But in a bizarre way the lockdown proved to be a great advert for the course because so many people were out walking on the Inch and they saw how much the condition of the course has improved in recent years.

“When we took over responsibility for the North Inch there were only 175 season ticket holders. Hopefully we can round off this year with more than 400 season ticket holders, with pro-rata memberships still available.”

Meanwhile, Littlestone Golf Club in Kent has said it has been ‘inundated’ with membership enquiries – so much so that it has had to reintroduce waiting lists.

Littlestone Golf Club

“In addition to regular golfers returning to the Littlestone fairways in droves, the club has also received a surge in interest from beginners wanting to take up the game for the first time, no doubt due to the fact that golf was one of the first sports to have participation restrictions lifted under lockdown,” said spokeswoman Helen Heady.

The club’s Second Club (£650 for 20 rounds) and Fairway Club (£745 for 15 rounds plus unlimited golf from November to February) memberships for the Championship Course are proving so popular that a waiting list for these membership categories has been reintroduced.

“Many members in these categories trade up to full membership so space becomes available almost every week ensuring new members do not have to wait too long to join Littlestone,” she added.

The club says it has also launched two new membership categories – under-30 and under-40 – for the club’s other course, the Warren, which more than 60 people have signed up to.

Last week it was revealed that one Scottish club had seen its membership rise from 170 to 425 in just the last four months.


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir August 10, 2020 06:58
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