Here’s three developments from the first month of 2024

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir January 31, 2024 08:59

From golf clubs selling out the next year of green fees in a few hours to others reporting 2023 was their best year ever, the golf industry appears to be in a far healthier place in 2024 than it was when Slumbers and Pelley joined it in 2015.

Some golf operators are growing

Get Golfing, thanks partly to its late founder Ed Richardson, has been the fastest growing golf operator in the UK in recent years, having taken on 12 golf clubs in a little over five years.

It’s now agreed a three-year deal to host the Women’s Golf Championship, meaning Club at Mill Green will host an LET Access Series event this summer featuring 132 golfers.

It’s not just Get Golfing that’s seeing growth – Love Golf UK, which was established in 2019, has now taken on its third venue, Stanley Park Golf Course in Blackpool.

‘The true spirit of golf’

Britain and Ireland have been battered by a number of storms throughout autumn 2023 and this winter, and some golf clubs have been badly hit. Fortunately, the golf industry has come to their aid.

For example, five holes at Carholme Golf Club near Lincoln were submerged by water up to 12 feet deep, but volunteers, typically members, moved thousands of sandbags to help protect the club.

Image from Facebook

Grange-over-Sands Golf Club in Cumbria has also been hit by flooding, so nearby Kendal Golf Club has said its members can use its course for free over the next few months whenever the course at Grange is closed.

It’s goodbye to Slumbers and Pelley

Martin Slumbers was named CEO of The R&A, and Keith Pelley, CEO of the European Tour, both in 2015, and both announced in January that they will leave their roles later this year.

Both can point to several achievements during their tenure but arguably the greatest has been the boom in participation that’s been experienced in the last four years.

For example, Callander Golf Club in Scotland welcomed more than 100 new members in 2023 while Sunbury Golf Club in Middlesex has reported that more than 200 people joined it last year.

In fact one new survey has even found that, following years of decline, about 17 percent of new members of golf clubs paid a joining fee about five years ago. However, this has now shot up to 24 percent – higher even than the average between 2013 and 2018.

They will be leaving the industry in a far healthier position than when they came into it.


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir January 31, 2024 08:59
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1 Comment

  1. My Golf Matters February 1, 11:38

    And both Slumbers and Pelley have had no direct effect on this. This healthier place will have come from the ‘boots on the ground’ industry workers, working hard on recruitment, retention and innovation, not just glorified spokesmen. Let’s not give credit to people who have been in the right place at the right time more than anything else.

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