Wednesday 16 April 2014

British successes have no effect on business

30th January, 2014 by Alistair Dunsmuir

Just under two thirds of all UK golf clubs say that golfing British successes in major championships, such as Justin Rose winning the 2013 US Open and Rory McIlroy the 2011 US Open, have no bearing on their business performance, according to a new survey.

Rory Mcilroy

British successes in Majors, such as that of Rory McIlroy in 2011 and 2012, have no effect on two thirds of golf clubs’ businesses, according to a new survey

Sixty four percent of clubs said their victories had no impact whatsoever on their businesses, challenging perceptions that successful British golfers boosts participation at venues, according to a poll of 254 golf clubs by Sky Sports News.

The poll also finds that just one percent of UK golf clubs say that the key 31 to 40 age group is the dominant section at their club.

One of the biggest problems for golf clubs is an over reliance on an ageing membership profile, but more than 80 percent of clubs’ dominant membership categories consist of people aged 51 or over.

This finding mirrors an England Golf survey last year, that found that 69 percent of the average English golf club’s members are aged 45 and over, and 32 percent are aged 65 and over.

However, when the question ‘what age group dominates your membership?’ is asked, it shows that the difficulties in attracting younger adults to join clubs are widespread.

The survey also looked at the effect Majors and the weather have on golf clubs’ business.

It found that The Masters, despite being hosted in the USA, not fully screened on terrestrial television and occurring usually before the golfing season has started, has a bigger impact on business than the Open, the BBC-screened UK event that takes place in July.

Nearly 30 percent of clubs said The Masters has a significant effect on their business, while just 21 percent of clubs said the Open does.

Nearly three quarters of clubs also said they have lost at least 15 days of business due to bad weather over the last three years, with 37 percent of clubs saying they have lost at least 31 days, that is more than 10 a year.

In addition, the survey found that three quarters of golf clubs have seen their female membership drop over the last five years, only slightly higher than the 70 percent of clubs that said membership generally has dropped over that timeframe.

Finally, a staggering 94 percent of golf clubs said they have a problem with slow play, with more than nine in ten clubs saying that this was the biggest talking point in the club in 2013, with an almost identical number calling on golf’s authorities to bring in measures to tackle it.


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8 comments on “British successes have no effect on business

  1. Tanny The Golfer (@TannyTheGolfer) on said:

    British successes have no effect on business: 64% of all UK golf clubs say that golfing British successes in m…

  2. @bramleygolfclub on said:

    British successes have no effect on business

  3. Paul Dellanzo on said:

    Would be interested to know how many of these British clubs with ageing memberships actually care or market to juniors and ladies. Might be a big part of the problem that both of those markets (juniors and ladies) find it totally boring to go into a golf clubhouse and clubs aren’t going out of the way to make the experience special for them. I find it hard to believe that juniors are not inspired by players of their generation winning majors. There seems to be a big disconnect here, I certainly don’t pretend to have all the answers but some of these clubs better understand that they are in the entertainment business or people will go elsewhere to be entertained. There really needs to be an animated atmosphere that generates a lot of fun and excitement to drag youngsters away from wanting to be connected on line somehow so each club needs to tackle the issue not ignore it or their golf courses might become the graveyards of the future. The 30 to 40 age group it has been proven that they are less club oriented and with exceptions the whole concept of private clubs is changing and people can travel more and play wherever they want rather just their home course. In fact ten years ago we did a study showing that business people in the City would spend a lot on golf but preferred to play a number of times at top venues rather than pay for a membership at one facility. Golf trends are changing very fast, some clubs have got a lot smarter but others still seem to turn a blind eye to reality. This should be a gender neutral market and be more inclusive than exclusive. If we can nurture and grow the junior market there may be some members left still in the future. If clubs create a welcoming atmosphere and make clubhouses special in every way for ladies they may just enjoy being there.

  4. Anthony Haste (@AnthonyHastePGA) on said:

    British successes have no effect on business » Golf Club Management

  5. @marcoricordini on said:

    British successes have no effect on business

  6. @Paceygolf on said:

    British successes have no effect on business » Golf Club Management

  7. Shona Malcolm (@screel12) on said:

    British successes have no effect on business » Golf Club Management

  8. Jonathan Gaunt (@jonathangaunt) on said:

    British successes have no effect on business » Golf Club Management

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