Here’s three stories from the last month that’s got the golf industry talking

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir April 30, 2023 09:38

From life-saving devices being installed on buggies to major new golf courses opening in the UK, we look at three trends from the last month.

A golf club is installing defibrillators on its buggies

Royal Dornoch is believed to be the first golf club in the world to install defibrillators and first aid kits on its buggies.

The club’s roving ranger buggy will have this, as will the five vehicles that are hired out to golfers with medical conditions.

As a spokesman said: “The chances of a victim of cardiac arrest surviving are enhanced greatly if a defibrillator can be used within the first three minutes.

“Given the size of your average golf course, it makes sense to kit out buggies with equipment which can be called upon quickly in an emergency.”

Major new golf courses are opening in the UK

In a sign of the strength of the golf industry, in the next month, two 18-hole golf courses will open in the UK.

London Airlinks Golf Course is a multi-million pound venue in London while Aldwark Manor Estate in Yorkshire is opening, following a £15 million investment.

The Covid membership boom has probably ended

While the UK golf industry is in a much stronger place than it was four years ago with, for example, nearly twice as many member rounds played in the first quarter of 2023 compared with 2019, some predictable but unwelcome data is now emerging.

Two studies in the last few weeks have found membership numbers are falling. One found that 58 golf clubs in the British Isles lost more than 100 members between January and March, the other found that about six percent of an average club’s members did not renew this year.

As one spokesman said: “This is back to the level golf was experiencing before the pandemic struck. While it is not the mass exodus many feared this year, it is still a return to the familiar slippery slope golf has been on since the turn of the century.”

It also comes as American Golf, which acquired four golf venues in 2021 and 2022, has put them all up for sale, and says it will focus on golf retail.

The demand to play golf appears to be as strong as ever but, perhaps due to the cost-of-living crisis, the clamour to be a member of a golf club is starting to wane again.


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir April 30, 2023 09:38
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