What we learnt about golf club management in August28th August, 2013 by Alistair Dunsmuir - This article is over multiple pages: 1 2
5. Golf is so popular in Scandinavia that more than five percent of the population of both Sweden and Iceland are members of golf clubs.
The figure is less than two percent in the UK, the ‘home of golf’. The top six European countries for membership as a proportion of the population are 6. Norway, 5. Holland, 4. Finland, 3. Denmark, 2. Sweden, 1. Iceland. Incidentally, all these countries also do well in the Human Development Index (the United Nations’ standard of living list), with Norway first, Holland fourth and Sweden seventh. Coincidence?
4. A remote Scottish golf club with no PGA member or manager, and just one full-time greenkeeper, which doesn’t have that many members and charges relatively inexpensive green fees, can still be rated as having the best golf course in the world by a leading golf journalist.
The golf course is Askernish in the Isle of South Uist.
The journalist is John Garrity of Sports Illustrated.
3. A game called FootGolf is exciting some golf clubs.
Six have even created a ‘FootGolf’ course, in which participants kick a football into a hole on a quasi-golfing layout. The clubs are even charging green fees competitive to regular fees to play. In fact, at Addington Court, green fees via an AmazonLocal deal are £14.50 per person for 18 holes of golf. They’re £15 per person for FootGolf.
2. Germany has more female members of golf clubs than the UK and Ireland combined.
But far fewer male members. This is due to a mixture of three things: golf is big and getting bigger in Germany, more than a third of German golfers are female and the UK and Ireland are still proving to be unsuccessful, compared with the rest of Europe, at attracting women and children to the game.
It just goes to show, as Gregg Patterson, general manager of The Beach Club in California, said: “Only 17 percent of golf rounds in the UK are played by women. They are the growth market.”
1. British and Irish golf clubs made a net loss of 228,000 members between 2007 and 2013.
The pace of that loss is now dramatically slowing, but for some clubs, it may already be too late.