Golf Club update third quarter 2020

In September 2020 it was announced

  • The CEO of England Golf has revealed that English golf clubs collectively saw 20,000 new members join them in the three months that followed most venues reopening.
  • A survey of 75 golf clubs in August suggests that the UK has already seen more rounds of golf played this year than in the whole of 2019, even though most courses were closed for just over 2 months.
  • A golfer nicknamed ‘The Iron Golfer’ has, incredibly, played three different 18 hole golf courses, at three different golf clubs, in less than three hours – and the time includes him running from venue to venue. Luke Willett, who is a PGA professional, completed the marathon in just two hours and 47 minutes. The golf clubs played were Worplesdon GC (score 75), West Hill GC (81) and Woking GC (77).
  • A plan to create an international golf destination in Bolton has been given the go ahead by the Government. The proposals – earmarked for the Hulton Park estate were approved two years ago by Bolton Council.
  • The R&A is hoping to buy a struggling golf course in Glasgow and turn it around by developing it into a ‘blueprint for how golf can be offered’ in the future. The golf course is Lethamhill Golf Course.
  • A new survey of UK private members’ golf clubs find 37% have cash flow issues despite the recent boom in demand to play the game, and some may close in 2021 as a result.
  • An historic golf course in Aberdeen has said it will be on temporary greens for the rest of the year and into 2021 after a chemical was applied in error this summer causing significant damage. The putting surfaces at Kings Links have become so badly affected that the turf on several greens will be entirely re- laid and a new head greenkeeper has been appointed.
  • Brucefields Family Golf Centre in Stirling has become the latest golf venue to close during the pandemic. The venue featured a nine hole course, a par three course and a driving range.

In August 2020 it was announced

  • Data from 125 golf courses in the UK has shown that the number of rounds of golf played in June 2020 was up by 70% compared with June 2019.
  • Dunblane New GC has said it is experiencing a boom – just a few months after fearing it would close down due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
  • Basingstoke GC in Hampshire is set to be converted into a community including 1,000 homes. Hawkhurst GC in Kent is also set for a major redevelopment – as it could be replaced with 374 homes and developers are making a third attempt to build more than 100 homes on Horwich GC in Lancashire. And Chiltern Hills GC near Watford has proposed to build 800homes on a plot of greenbelt land. Golf clubs building football pitches has also become a trend, as at the end of last year Kirkby Valley GC in Liverpool submitted an application to build pitches.
  • Patsull Park Hotel, Golf and Country Club near Wolverhampton has gone into liquidation.
  • Magnolia Park Hotel and Golf Club in Buckinghamshire announced it would close down.
  • The 110 year old Bulwell Hall Golf Course and Country Park in Nottinghamshire is also set to close from November.
  • Donnington Valley GC in Berkshire has been so badly hit by Covid 19 that it cannot afford to have members anymore – and will become a pay and play venue instead.
  • At least 12 golf clubs were either sold or came onto the UK market in the two months that followed the reopening of venues. Seven golf clubs were sold in the first week of July, they include:- Hampton Court, Oak Park, Pyrford (all Surrey), Sherfield Oaks (Hampshire), Mill Green (Hertfordshire), The Bristol (Gloucestershire) and Leeds (Yorkshire). The first six were all sold by Crown Golf to the charity Get Golfing CIO. A few weeks ago that charity also bought the lease for the golf course at Warley Park (Essex). In addition at least four other golf clubs have come on to the market:- Bramshaw (Hampshire), The Herefordshire, North Downs (Surrey) and North Devons Highbullen Hotel G&CC.
  • Temple Newsam GC (Yorkshire) has nowstated vit will not close and will carry on but with 18 holes instead of 27. Dollar GC (Scotland) has reopened with 9 holes instead of the 18 it previously had.

In July 2020 it was announced

  • Braes GC in Falkirk, a club that had less than 100 members last autumn and was going under, saw 270 people join in May and June.
  • A 97 year old Alistair MacKenzie designed golf club in Leeds will now not close down – Temple Newsam GC – following a public consultation.
  • A Durham golf club has said it is considering permanently keeping the two-ball format as the pace of play is so fast – South Moor GC.
  • Two leading golf clubs devastated by fire, Charleton GC in Fife had its clubhouse destroyed by fire, the week before Kenmare GC in Ireland also experienced a fire.
  • The Bell Inn and Bramshaw GC in the New Forest, Hampshire is being marketed with a guide price of £4 million.