Membership of Scottish golf clubs jumps above 200,000

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir December 15, 2021 12:09

Scotland has seen an even bigger increase in the number of members of golf clubs in 2021 than it did in 2020, meaning that the country now has the highest number of golf club members in seven years.

New figures published in The Scotsman reveal that from October 2020 to September 2021 the country saw a gain of 14,000 members to bring the total up to more than 207,000 people – the highest since 2014 when the figure was just under 210,000.

Since then membership had seen a sharp fall, with a number of clubs closing as a result, but this changed during the pandemic – with clubs seeing an increase of nearly 11,000 from October 2019 to September 2020.

“Our latest annual returns as at 30 September are showing a total playing membership of 207,676, which is up 14,000 on the previous year, so a rise of another seven percent,” said Scottish Golf’s chief operating officer, Karin Sharp.

“That’s across the board and includes both adult and junior membership. The adult membership is up 11,500, a rise of 6.5 percent, and the junior membership is up by just under 2,500, which is a rise of about 14 percent.

“Despite all the challenges of Covid, there has been some growth again. It’s a strong perspective from a club position and one we are delighted to see.

“The anecdotal feedback coming in from clubs said, yes, maybe they were forced in some sense to have to change their approach with having to introduce a tee-booking system.

“That was a bit of a challenge for some clubs in the first instance, but they now wouldn’t go back and some of the changes they adopted they are now seeing the benefits of those for their membership. So that’s how they will proceed in the future.

“I think despite all the challenges Covid has brought over the past couple of years, it has equally brought a real sense of togetherness with lots of different parties working together for the common good of the game.

“I think we are in a strong position. The club membership piece is healthy and there’s a lot of good stuff happening.

“The conversation and collaboration with others across the industry is strong, so I think it is all very positive and here’s hoping for the same again in 2022.”

Sharp also revealed that Scottish Golf has 568 affiliated golf clubs.

 

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir December 15, 2021 12:09
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