Here’s three UK golf industry trends we learnt about in August

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir August 31, 2020 16:56

Major golf developments are back

We haven’t had one for a while and now it looks like three are coming along at the same time.

The government has given the go-ahead for a golf project in Bolton ‘which could host the Ryder Cup’ to go ahead, a golf club in Liverpool is set to see a £15 million revamp which will convert its two golf courses into one championship venue and a facility in North Tyneside intends to embark on a £13 million project that will see its driving range be turned into an entertainment centre where golfers can play games against each other.

Housing projects at golf clubs are now huge

August saw a lot of activity regarding golf clubs and housebuilding.

Dundee City Council approved plans for a development consisting of 49 homes to be built at Downfield Golf Club, Alloa Golf Club was granted planning permission to build 73 homes and Sonning Golf Club in Berkshire was given the nod to build 13 homes. In addition, Burgham Park Golf Club in Northumberland has applied to build 56 homes, Widnes Golf Club has said it plans to downsize from 18 holes to nine, and build 249 homes on the former nine holes and Chiltern Hills Golf Club in Hertfordshire is reportedly proposing to build 800 homes.

In almost all these cases the clubs have said the building of the houses will secure their futures.

The bubble still hasn’t burst  

The extraordinary post-lockdown growth in demand to play golf in the UK has continued.

Golf rounds in the UK were up by 40 percent this summer compared with pre coronavirus summers, the biggest growth in the world (35 percent in the USA and an average of 28 percent in Europe).

English golf clubs collectively saw an increase of 20,000 members between mid-May and mid-August and the UK has almost certainly already seen more rounds of golf played this year than it did in the whole of 2019, despite most courses being closed for about two months.

Good weather, golf being useful exercise and something to do outside the home that can be played while socially distancing have both helped, and as Colin Mayes, the CEO of Burhill Golf and Leisure, said: “A lot of our members at Burhill work in the city and because they’re not travelling into the office, they’ve got two hours of their life back.

“By being more efficient working at home, they’ve suddenly got four hours available. Instead of playing once a week, as they did previously, they’re now playing two or three times a week.”

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir August 31, 2020 16:56
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  1. Standing September 7, 11:51

    Driving range turned entertainment centre: The revamp of Wallsend will combine a traditional driving range with state-of-the-art virtual reality digital technology. It’s the future of golf folks.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Wayne September 1, 11:24

    Interesting trends Alistair, especially housing around golf courses. We shall see about international golfers and whether there will be restrictions for travel next year. This drives a lot of revenue for the top UK and Irish golf clubs. Glad to see golf rounds are up and now this needs continue for the next few years.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Pringle September 1, 11:02

    I hope we learn something out of this .and keep the trend going .

    Reply to this comment
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