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

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir May 31, 2024 10:24

From golf clubs offering help to vulnerable people in their communities to venues building padel courts, May has been a month of trends and developments in the UK golf industry.

Has the wet weather affected participation at your club?

Several British and Irish golf clubs have noted that they experienced unprecedented rainfall during autumn and winter, and we now have data that suggests it has affected golfing behaviour as well as greenkeeping work.

Participation for the first quarter of 2024 was down compared with the previous two years.

However, compared with participation in 2020, up until the first lockdown in late March, the numbers are significantly higher, and that’s despite far more rainfall in recent months than there was four years ago.

Golf clubs are helping carers

Last month we looked at Hatchford Brook Golf Centre and Pype Hayes Golf Course, both in Birmingham, which run ‘wellbeing sessions’, which provide exercise, rehabilitation and wellbeing support to people who need to maintain mobility.

Now Bromley Golf Centre in London is teaching dementia-friendly golf sessions to support local people living with dementia, in which participants get a golf experience without having to worry about losing their way on the course or getting confused.

More clubs are building padel courts

Padel is a similar sport to tennis, played on an enclosed court in which the ball can be knocked against walls with stringless bats. While it was invented in 1969, the sport has grown rapidly in recent years, and there are now more than 400 courts in the UK, a more than eightfold increase in the last five years, with 90,000 players, a rise from 6,000 in just three years.

Many of these new courts have appeared at golf clubs with, for example, Royal Norwich, South Buckinghamshire, St Ives (Hunts), Golf It!, Teign Valley, Trevose, Worldham, Hartford, Farrington Park and, now, The Notleys Golf Club, all either installing padel courts or announcing an intention to recently.

As one commentator has said: “Padel is an extremely social sport and players will often stay for drinks and food before and after play – meaning golf clubs benefit from secondary spend while the club spirit is enhanced.”


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir May 31, 2024 10:24
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