‘We have never witnessed such a demand for golf,’ says municipal venue boss

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir April 23, 2021 07:25

In a sign of just how popular golf currently is, a municipal golf course in Merseyside has reported that 2,500 people played at it in the first eight days after it reopened – an average of more than 310 every day.

Municipal venues have struggled in recent years, with many closing due to a lack of participation and investment.

However, since March 29, when golf courses in England reopened following nearly three months of coronavirus restrictions, Bootle Golf Course and Southport Links have been incredibly busy.

Bootle hosted 2,500 people in the first eight days and Southport 2,300 people over the same period.

This comes just days after Leisure and Culture Dundee revealed it has been forced to temporarily cap the number of members at Caird Park – one of the only public courses in the city – due to unprecedented demand.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council

The CEO of enjoyleisure, which runs council-owned venues Musselburgh Links in East Lothian and Winterfield Golf Course in Dunbar, also said a few days ago: “In all our years of managing the golf course, we have never witnessed such a demand for golf as there has been in the last 12 months.”

Other non-municipal golf clubs have also experienced the surge with, for example, Andy Rideout, general manager of Bramshaw Golf Club in Hampshire, saying that the club averaged more than 300 rounds per day in the first few days after the club reopened.

Bootle and Southport are rare among English municipal golf courses in that their council, Sefton, has been committed to significantly investing in them in recent years. At Bootle for instance, a quarter of a million pounds project to improve its course and install a driving range, recently began.

“As well as enhancing the already-popular Bootle Golf Course, this new driving range will help to make golf more accessible and attract new players,” said Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s cabinet member for health and wellbeing.

Not all local authorities believe the benefits of the game outweigh the costs, despite the participation surge, however.

Whitewebbs Park Golf Course in Enfield did not reopen and Luton Borough Council has said it is considering closing Stockwood Park Golf Centre as it needs to make savings to cover a shortfall in its budget caused by fewer people using Luton Airport.

 

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir April 23, 2021 07:25
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4 Comments

  1. djm May 2, 17:34

    We have never witnessed such a demand for golf,’ says municipal venue boss……..shouldn’t that read ‘Revenue driven business sees chance to pile in the punters” ?

    Do you think anyone on the course that day is going to come back for more ?

    Reply to this comment
  2. History Golf Professional April 24, 15:57

    One of many overcrowded golfcourses this spring as well as last year.

    Reply to this comment
  3. GreenTek April 24, 03:22

    Fantastic news golf is becoming popular again which is great for alot business and its good for peoples fitness.

    Reply to this comment
    • Doon frae Troon May 2, 08:05

      300 rounds a day computes to 30 players an hour, that is more than 7 fourballs an hour, that is total logjam and at least 5 hour rounds which will not allow 300 rounds a day.
      Are you certain that your figures are not exaggerated.
      I have managed busy municipal courses and 250 a day is just about manageable on a few days a year.

      Reply to this comment
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