What happened in the golf industry in June 2021?

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir July 2, 2021 14:50

Here’s three developments from the last month that give us an insight into the state of the UK golf industry at the moment.

‘Clubs still need to be welcoming’

This is the sentiment of the new chair of Scottish Golf, Martin Gilbert.

He says that while the recent growth in participation in the game is gratifying, clubs should not take for granted that it will continue or that the problems that created the membership decline over the past 20 years have gone away for the long-term.

“You look at a lot of our golf clubs and you are not allowed to wear shorts or whatever it might be. I’d really like to see this fear of how you start in golf taken away,” he said.

Women remain the huge growth opportunity

For years surveys have shown that golf club membership is predominantly male but there is strong demand from women to play the game.

King James VI Golf Club in Perth is one of now many clubs that is acting on this information.

It has been running a ‘Get into Golf’ initiative to women that has resulted in dozens of new female members.

“I’ve been a member for over 40 years and it broke my heart seeing the ladies’ section going down,” said Moira Lumby, who has coordinated the programme.

“[For a recent competition] we had 40 ladies. To now see the buzz about the place, I just love it.”

Closed golf clubs are even reopening

Demand to play golf is so strong that we’ve seen clubs that feared closure saved, and now a venue that closed just as the pandemic started last year has reopened.

It is, perhaps, the greatest symbol yet of golf’s turnaround in the last year or so.

The municipal Camperdown Golf Course in Dundee closed down seemingly permanently in early 2020 due to dwindling usage and rising costs, and quickly became a target for vandals.

However, as other local venues struggled to cope with demand after lockdown ended, there were calls for Camperdown to reopen.

In June, the council agreed to refurbish and reopen the venue.

 

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir July 2, 2021 14:50
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