Here’s three leading talking points from stories from the last month in the UK golf industry

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir March 31, 2024 15:19

From a club marketing itself to parents of babies to more clubs reporting strong results, the golf industry appears to be in a very healthy position as it heads into the start of the golfing season.

How well do you know your club’s history?

Keighley Golf Club in Yorkshire discovered something quite remarkable about itself recently: Five of its holes were designed by one of the most famous golf course architects in history.

At the start of the last century the club built holes, relocated, built new holes and redesigned existing holes, and it quickly became forgotten that Herbert Fowler, the man who designed Walton Heath and The Berkshire, was employed during one of those projects, with his designs still evident today.

It only came to light when a booklet from 1927 was found in the club’s attic, and Keighley now has a powerful and maybe unique marketing message.

Golf clubs are offering more than just golf

Edwalton Golf Centre has ‘At the heart of the community’ as its tagline, and it’s proving this is the case.

The Nottingham club has invested more than £100,000 in improvements, including to its course such as via new mowers, signage and buggies, but it’s what it’s doing to its clubhouse that’s getting the attention.

The venue has a versatile function room that includes new highchairs, and this means it is running events for parents with very young children every week, including babies being taught how to communicate with their parents, toddlers being taught social skills and classes for young children to learn ballet moves.

The industry had a bumper year in 2023

The number of golf facilities that have reported in the first few weeks of 2024 that last year was their strongest-ever performing year continues to grow.

Kirkby Lonsdale Golf Club in Cumbria said it had probably its strongest winter performance ever despite it being unseasonably wet, Callander Golf Club in Scotland has said it welcomed more than 100 new members in 2023, Sunbury Golf Club in Middlesex has reported that more than 200 people joined it last year and Scotland’s Golf Coast has said last year saw enquiries and bookings at an all-time high.

It’s not just in the UK. La Hacienda Links Golf Resort in Spain has reported that 2023 was its best-performing year ever, DP World Tour host INFINITUM also in Spain has said its income grew to record-breaking levels last year and Quinta do Lago in Portugal has reported that the 2023 season was its strongest ever.

There’s also some exciting predictions for 2024. For example, Scottish Golf Tourism Week believes that golf tourists will visit the ‘home of golf’ from more countries than ever before in 2024.

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir March 31, 2024 15:19
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