Here’s three golf developments that got the golf industry talking in November

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir November 30, 2021 08:46

From ending gendered tees to bringing in a new app to help golfers who’ve fallen ill on the course, November was another month of change for the golf industry.

The pressure to build housing continues

New data might be showing that the 2020 participation surge has held up well in 2021 but many clubs are seeing more financial potential from selling some or all of their land to housing developers.

For example, Brackley Golf Course in Manchester has been sold to a property developer for nearly £40 million, and is likely to be converted into nearly 700 homes, Dunbar Golf Club in East Lothian is set to build a new clubhouse, short course, academy, driving range and greenkeeper facilities, funded by the creation of 78 homes and Milford Golf Club in Surrey has revealed that a national housebuilder has secured planning permission to build 190 homes by it.

Gendered tees could become a part of golf history

Hartford Golf Club in Cheshire received a lot of positive media attention for announcing that it has ended its segregation of tees by sex as the club instead allows all golfers to choose where to tee off, based on their ability.

Its new model will be based on those who regularly shoot more than 100 are encouraged to go off the red tees, below 100 off the yellows, 90 off the whites and below 80 off the blues.

Many clubs have already gone down this path with, for example, Sheringham Golf Club in Norfolk among the first to introduce ‘gender-free’ tees. Neal Milton, the club manager, said: “It’s been a great success, particularly with our senior gentlemen and higher handicap ladies, who now have the opportunity to play a shorter course.”

A new tactic to keep golfers safe

Chapel-en-le-Frith Golf Club in Derbyshire has introduced a ‘cardiac arrest response strategy’ in which signage has been erected around the course informing golfers on what to do if someone near to them has a cardiac arrest.

What could prove to be even more life-saving though is that the club is using the What3Words app, which divides the world into three metre squares, to provide a precise location on the golf course, well above just the postcode or even the hole number, to emergency services.

East Midlands Ambulance Service’s operational support manager James Hornby said: “This is a great idea. In cardiac arrest, speed of response is key. I love the use of What3Words, as this will be a massive help to us to be able to pinpoint the exact location of the patient. The golf course is spread over a vast area and getting to the precise location as quickly as possible will make a huge difference.”


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir November 30, 2021 08:46
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