Here’s the top three things I learnt while editing Golf Club Management in November
Here’s the top three things GCM editor Alistair Dunsmuir learnt in November:
Potential buyers for venues are monitoring the market
There’s always a few golf clubs up for sale at any given time, but there hasn’t been a great deal of activity this year, especially compared with some major sales such as Wentworth, Turnberry and Gleneagles in the last two years.
That’s changed a little bit as some multimillion pound venues, such as Woodbury Park Hotel and Golf Club, Piperdam Golf and Leisure Resort, Chart Hills Golf Club and Huntswood Golf Club have all had new owners in recent weeks.
Some major new venues are going to open in the next four years
The figures surrounding a new golf resort in Lisburn, Northern Ireland – set to be worth £60 million and could open in 2019, a Jack Nicklaus-designed course in Aberdeenshire – £80 million and 2020, and another course with Jack Nicklaus links in Merseyside – £190 million and no date given yet, are eye watering.
If that amount of money is to be invested in golf resorts then the game’s best years may still be in the future.
Clubs are proving England Golf to be correct
Linked together with England Golf’s latest survey results regarding industry trends are some ideas about how to grow your facility.
“Catering for different needs – a range of flexible membership packages to suit different lifestyles can attract more members. Making more use of the club to increase income – opportunities include weddings and conferences, but these must be balanced with the members’ needs,” states the organisation.
To prove its points, this year Golf At Goodwood closed its flexible membership category and opened a waiting list, because it has been too popular. The club receives an average of 30 applications a month for membership and between 2014 and 2015 saw a net gain of 600 members.
Meanwhile, Silver Birch Golf Club has said its turnover has increased by 30 per cent since it introduced a footgolf course at the venue last year. In fact the club now has 8,000 footgolfers a year playing – more than its 7,500 golfers.
Calculated risks can clearly lead to lucrative rewards.