Here’s the top three things I learnt about the golf industry in July:

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir July 30, 2014 15:06

Here’s the top three things I learnt about the golf industry in July:

3. There should be a rock ‘n’ roll ‘n’ golf hall of fame

This month we learnt that 2011 Open champion Darren Clarke has decided to ‘live’ (barring the amount of time he spends in the USA, which is most of it) on a British golf course owned by the former guitarist in heavy metal band Judas Priest, KK Downing.

It seemed an unlikely pairing until we did a bit of research, and it turns out rock n’ roll stars love nothing more than a round of golf when they’re not hell-raising.

Alice Cooper says he’s addicted to the game, Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters is a member at Sunningdale and even Meat Loaf has a handicap.

downing and clarke
2. The gap between rich and poor golf clubs is getting wider

This month we had a successful Open at one of the UK’s top clubs, Royal Liverpool, and shortly the mammoth Ryder Cup will tee off at the spectacular Gleneagles resort.

On the surface it looks as if golf is as rich as ever. But down the road from both clubs a different story is being told. A deal to save one of the oldest municipal golf courses in the UK, Allerton, in Liverpool, has collapsed, while North Inch Golf Course in Scotland, which has seen golf since at least the 15th century, is in danger of closing due to a lack of investment.

1. There are some great ideas to save golf, but only one will really work

This month we found an American golf course that has introduced bicycle golf to its course, which seems a lot of fun, and several venues have experimented with more than tripling the size of the holes, and have posted promising results. In both cases these initiatives have attracted new golfers and faster rounds.

But as we discovered from England Golf’s plan to save golf, which has now been launched, we need more. More than 200,000 people have ended their membership of golf clubs in the last decade without being replaced.

Fortunately, a survey has shown that clubs can get all their members back, and then some. They just have to appeal to that section of society they’ve largely ignored for the last few hundred years: women.

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Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir July 30, 2014 15:06
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