Here’s three developments from the last month that should be of interest to the golf industry

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir January 30, 2023 12:52

From building a coffee franchise by the range to teaming up with the NHS, golf clubs are finding innovative ways to get more people active this winter.

Golfers are playing a lot more golf

While new data has shown that the average UK golf club has seen a significant jump in members since 2020 – and is so far sustaining this rise – it’s also revealed that the average member is playing far more golf than they were before the pandemic started.

In 2019 the average golf club member played a round about twice a month, by 2022 this had risen to about three times a month.

Another statistic of note is that the number of member rounds played from late summer to the end of the year is almost identical when comparing 2021 with 2022, suggesting we’ve now reached a period of stability in golf participation.

A golf club is a great place to go to have good coffee

Having been reliant on vending machines, Plymouth Golf Centre has invested in and built a Costa Coffee franchise.

“Costa offered a huge amount of support,” said Jonathan Philpotts, club director. “It has large windows to offer views of the range. People can order from the bays. It’s also a good place for meetings.”

As Colin Mayes, CEO of golf group BGL, once said: “Most people now will not put up with a poor cup of coffee. There are way too many golf clubs in the country that offer this. I think we, in the industry, need to be very aware of who our customers are and what they want.”

Doctors are now prescribing golf to patients

This has been talked about for a while and it’s now finally happening in Fife.

Four local golf clubs have teamed up with GP practices as part of a pilot project that has seen doctors so far prescribe golf to about 30 participants.

As Linda Duncan, one of them, said: “Golf has become something for me. It’s helped me get out in the fresh air and meet other people. The health benefits for me have been ten, 20, 30-fold.”

In 2020 a study into mortality among the over 65s found participants tended to live longer if they played golf at least once a month, and a 2012 study found that being an active member of a golf club could add three and a half years to an elderly person’s life.

Particularly for smaller golf clubs, this could be the future.

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir January 30, 2023 12:52
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1 Comment

  1. Golf Yourself To Life January 31, 12:10

    Yet another great article from @thegolfbusiness highlighting how golf is evolving

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