Here’s three important trends in the UK golf industry from the last month

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir April 30, 2024 10:10

From the growth of modern driving ranges to clubs marketing themselves as healthcare locations, we look at developments as the golf season is now in full swing.

More golf clubs are offering themselves as health and social care locations

Last year, golf clubs in Fife partnered with local doctors’ surgeries so patients could be ‘prescribed’ golf, and now English club operator Mytime Active has launched ‘wellbeing hubs’ at two of its clubs.

The project has so far seen more than 150 referrals made via healthcare professionals and social prescribers, as well as through self-referral, and 85 ‘wellbeing sessions’ delivered. The six-week programmes provide exercise, rehabilitation and wellbeing support to help people maintain mobility and reduce pain, as well as improve their health before and after surgery.

At least two golf clubs have found themselves in a difficult legal situation

Northenden Golf Club has been fined £10,000 for not instigating legal proceedings against a telecommunications company that had failed to remove a phone mast that was located on its land.

The phone mast was installed in 2018 but its council refused an application to allow it to stay for more than 18 months, and the company that owned the mast failed to remove it.

Even though the golf club did not have the legal authority or the physical capability to remove the mast, the club was fined as it was on its land and the club hadn’t done enough, in the eyes of the law, to demand that the equipment be removed.

Meanwhile, some of Naunton Downs Golf Club’s members have issued legal proceedings against the club’s owner, after the course was reduced from 18 holes to nine.

They bought debentures in 1993, which came with the right to play golf on the course for 50 years, and they are arguing that that meant all of its 18 holes.

There are now as many Strike Shack driving ranges in the UK as TopGolf and BigShots Golf combined

The number of driving range entertainment centres in the UK has soared in the last two or three years.

Topgolf opened its fourth facility in the UK at the end of 2022 and in 2023 BigShots Golf announced it would open its third and fourth facilities in the UK.

However, The Club Company now has the most venues, as it has converted the driving ranges of eight of the 16 golf clubs it runs in the UK into entertainment centres under the ‘Strike Shack’ brand.

They combine a fun and interactive driving range experience, with many sites offering food and drink options for players within comfortable, heated bays.

The Club Company predicts the eight venues will see a combined total of more than 30 million shots hit over the next 12 months.


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir April 30, 2024 10:10
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