Have your club increased visitor green fees? Survey reveals most took the plunge

Price increases are revealed to be industry wide - and not merely restricted to the top visitor destinations... More than 80 per cent of GCMA member golf clubs increased their visitor green fees in time for the new season, poll results have found. A canvass of managers revealed 84 per cent of the clubs they worked for raised their prices for 2022, with just 16 per cent keeping them at the same level as 2021. Not a single golf club among those managers who responded to the poll had reduced their fees – figures that supplement growing evidence that the cost of the game for the non-member is considerably on the rise. With golf still feeling the benefits of the boom in participation following the coronavirus pandemic, and joining fees and waiting lists being brought back at facilities across the UK, golf clubs have looked to find a tricky balance between satisfying the playing needs of their growing membership, while also benefiting from external green fee revenue. And it seems many could be pursuing a policy of fewer visitors, who are paying more. Earlier this year, Hillier Hopkins’ annual survey on the financial health of UK clubs showed the average green fee charge at members’ clubs had increased by 17% from 2020 to 2021. More than a quarter of clubs brought in annual green fee incomes of more than £140,000 last year. Analysis of summer green fee rates for the Top 100 courses in the UK, taken from Golf World’s rankings and carried out by popular blogger UK Golf Guy, also revealed that 68 of the 100 had increased their prices and that the average rose by 8 per cent from £161 to £174. “Golf clubs have become really busy places,” he wrote. “Members are playing more and more which means the pressure on tee times is greater than ever before. “If you are a top club then driving revenue through fewer, but higher green fees would appear to be a winning combination. “Combine that with the return of the international golf traveller and I think these high levels of inflation of here to stay.” Do you subscribe to the GCMA’s weekly E-newsletter? Make sure you’re not missing out on the latest in the world of golf club management. Click here to join in.
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