Here’s three important developments in the golf industry from December 2021

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir December 31, 2021 12:47

Two trends in particular dominated the final month of the year: More data showing that participation remains strong and more clubs opting to build housing on land they own.

Housing continues to be a major trend

The financial benefits from selling land to housing developers is continuing to prove to be too lucrative for many golf clubs to ignore.

Last month we covered Brackley Golf Course being sold to a property developer for nearly £40 million, Dunbar Golf Club’s 78-home project and Milford Golf Club’s plan to build 190 homes.

Since then, Canterbury Golf Club has revealed plans to raise money for a new clubhouse by converting 14 acres of its land into more than 100 homes, Deane Golf Club has applied for planning permission to build 14 houses and Bognor Golf Club says that it hopes to relocate so that 480 homes can be built where it currently resides.

First aid training for staff – and defibrillators – saves lives

Gullane Golf Club ensured Liam Nicholson received first aid training – and then he used it to save the life of a golfer on the course.

The 31-year-old greenkeeper received a call that emergency treatment was needed as a golfer had suffered a heart attack, so took a defibrillator to the location and treated the golfer until an ambulance arrived.

Later he received a call saying the man was alive and he had probably saved his life.

Participation in 2021 was as strong as it was in 2020

There were fears that the participation surge in spring and the summer of 2020 would be short lived, and memberships would quickly return to their pre-pandemic levels, particularly when more restrictions were eased.

However, that hasn’t been the case. While participation was higher in July and August 2020 compared with those two months in 2021, by September they were about the same.

And now Scottish Golf has revealed that Scottish golf clubs saw an even bigger increase in members between October 2020 and September 2021 (14,000) than they did between October 2019 and September 2020 (11,000).

As Scottish Golf’s chief operating officer, Karin Sharp, said: “Despite all the challenges Covid has brought over the past couple of years … we are in a strong position. Club membership is healthy.”


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir December 31, 2021 12:47
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