New generation command green fee market


New data has revealed there has been a shift in golf demographics in the UK this year, with younger golfers becoming the dominant customers utilising green fees for the first time.

According to a report published on The Golf Business by The Revenue Club, a surge in new golfers, particular younger players, have taken up the sport this year following the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the data, previously the age group most likely to buy a green fee at a golf club was 65-plus. However, in June 2020 the age category most likely to pay-and-play at a golf club was people aged 24 to 34.

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This age range made up 28 percent of all buyers of green fees. The 18 to 24 age range also made up 15 percent of all green fee purchases in June.

Furthermore, the average price of a green fee at a UK golf club rose by nearly £5 to £24.73 during May to August.

This is the biggest rise ever over a period of one season and reflects both the huge demand there has been to play golf and the need for golf venues to bring in extra revenue to make up for lockdown shortfalls.

The figures, from online sales at 140 private members’ and proprietary clubs, also show that the majority of golf clubs clawed back the deficit they made during the forced closure of their courses within six weeks of reopening.

“It is worth noting that a higher proportion of June’s visitor sales were at an off-peak time due to the majority of peak times being taken by members, which makes the rate increases even more significant,” said a spokesman for The Revenue Club.

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“The challenge for UK clubs is to maintain these higher prices in order to make the future of the industry much more sustainable.”

“The key focus for the industry is now to retain these new and lapsed golfers that have been playing. Data collection will be key in order to continue to engage with them through targeted and cost effective marketing, and to ensure they become part of a new customer base that helps to secure the future of the game.”

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