Here’s the top 3 things I learnt about the industry in June
There have been two fairly extraordinary cases involving golf clubs that went to court. The first involved Aldeburgh Golf Club in Suffolk, which was fined £50,000 after it dismissed an employee who had previously complained that she was being bullied. The judge said the club had shown ‘amazing ignorance, naivety and a total misunderstanding of bullying and harassment’ because the captain rejected her claim and said ‘there has been no physical violence’.
The second was in Kenya, where Limuru Country Club suspended three female members who objected to its new policy that denied women the right to vote at meetings. The trio sued the club, which argued in court that sexism is permitted in golf.
The judge ordered the club to reinstate the members and pay their legal costs.
2. The full extent of the state of the Irish market has been revealed.
We’ve known for years that Irish golf clubs have been particularly badly hit by the economic downturn, with many going under since 2007. But now we know that all the clubs in Ireland have collectively lost nearly 26 percent of their members (59,000 customers) in the last seven years.
It’s a potentially devastating amount and even that doesn’t reveal the problems caused by struggling, but surviving, clubs, reducing their green fees to unsustainably low levels, which in turn is impacting on their competing clubs.
The Irish industry is responding with action plans. It will be interesting to see what works.
1. If you own a top Scottish golf course, now might be a good time to sell it.
With it now being just a matter of weeks until the Ryder Cup tees off in Gleneagles, top Scottish venues are hoping to cash in on the event in different ways, with some even being sold.
Who said there’s no money in golf?