Global Edition

Wales Golf suspends affiliation fees for five months to support clubs

12.20am 27th May 2020 - Corporate

Wales Golf is giving clubs a five-month holiday in affiliation fees to help them cope with the massive uncertainties caused by the Coronavirus crisis.

The move, which will cost golf’s governing body in Wales more than £250,000, comes as almost all golf clubs in Wales have re-opened – with the hard work in preparation paying off so far.

The COVID-19 lockdown has been estimated to have cost clubs across Wales around £5 million in lost revenues during the stay-at-home period, with more than 500 staff furloughed across the game, so these have been challenging times for golf.

“We would like to congratulate golf clubs in Wales who have re-opened safely and within the Welsh Government guidelines,” said Wales Golf chief executive Richard Dixon. “Also we understand there is financial difficulty for clubs across Wales as a result of the course closures from the Coronavirus crisis. So, we have decided to waive five months of affiliation fees to Wales Golf.

“The support from club members helps us provide the best possible advice and support for those clubs and to develop our sport for the future. Crucially, though, we took the decision to keep most of our development staff working full-time through this period to support clubs with assistance in closing courses, maintaining facilities, applying for grants, furloughing staff and then preparing for re-opening.

“However our costs in some areas, such as performance and championships, have been lower and we have also chosen to dip into our reserves to help clubs at this time. It is a relatively small gesture to each club, but one we thought important to make to show everyone is in this together trying to ensure golf in Wales comes out of this period in the strongest possible state.

“We would also like to congratulate clubs which have re-opened efficiently in very different circumstances, there have been many examples of good and safe practice. Clubs must carry on applying Welsh Government and R&A guidance on safe play protocols as well as an appropriate distance of local travel. Clubs in Wales have been visited by the police and Health and Safety officials to ensure they are operating within the guidelines. I’m pleased to say all those visits have been constructive so far, but clubs need to remain vigilant.”

Wales Golf has furloughed staff from the championships and performance teams, while many remaining staff took a voluntary 20% pay cut, including the whole senior management team.

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