Another club is threatened by cost of living crisis

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir October 16, 2022 12:06

Another golf club is reported to be fearing for its future, and is therefore urging more members of its local community to use it, due to soaring inflation.

In the last two months a standalone driving range, and a restaurant at a golf club, have closed down, one club has said it may close its clubhouse for winter, another club has launched a fundraiser and the PGA EuroPro Tour has ended, all citing the current cost of living crisis as at least partly influential in the decisions.

Now, Windmill Hill Golf Centre in Milton Keynes is also reported to be struggling with rising costs.

Its operator, 1Life, is urging the people of Milton Keynes to support it, and Woughton Leisure Centre, which it also runs, to help keep them open and support the changes the company is putting in place to save energy.

The company says it is battling soaring energy costs and a shortage of supplies, although it is the company’s swimming pool that is most under threat, as prices to operate a pool have risen by 150 percent in the last year, with more price rises predicted.

Factors such as the war in Ukraine are said to be hurting supplies to swimming pools all over the UK as well as contributing to rising costs.

Steve Bambury, 1Life commercial director, said: “Thankfully we’ve not been forced to close any facilities and our supplies, although expensive, are well stocked. We now face a new crisis and challenge, like everyone we are being hit by the rising cost of living. However, we remain committed to our local communities up and down the country.

“We offer a range of health and fitness classes and sessions to suit all ages and abilities and we urge you to come down and explore what’s new at our centres in Milton Keynes.”
He said each centre is looking to deliver consumption efficiencies to offset some of the additional costs.

“1Life is asking all users to be accommodating to some of the minor changes and their support in minimising usage whilst in the centre.”

Meanwhile, European Tour Destinations venues around the world are putting campaigns and initiatives in place to mitigate against the rising cost of living.

Membership across the network of 28 world-class golf venues increased by an average of 10 percent over the last 12 months as golf continued to enjoy post-pandemic demand.

However, with many members’ household expenditure spiralling this year, these destinations are well aware of the danger of becoming an expendable luxury.

Ian Knox, head of European Tour Destinations, explains: “A recent BRS survey found that just over half of 13,000 respondents viewed golf as a necessity rather than a luxury, so despite the positive figures we are seeing in the annual audit of our venues, it is not a time to be complacent.”

Some of its clubs have brought in measures to help with the crisis, for example London Golf Club in England has introduced a family membership that extends beyond the household, Diamond Country Club in Austria has brought in a flexible, affordable membership option and Linna Golf in Finland (pictured) now offers reduced annual subscriptions for people under 30.

“Minimising attrition is always important,” Knox continues. “But with the global economic landscape looking increasingly unsettled heading into 2023, it’s vital that venues have strategies in place to maintain strong numbers and ride out the storm.”


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir October 16, 2022 12:06
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