Global Edition

German Golf Course Industry Satisfied with 2009 Season

11.34pm 3rd December 2009 - Management Topics - This story was updated on Monday, June 21st, 2010

Golf clubs and golf course operators in Germany in October 2009 consistently reported increases in the number of members, in revenue from membership fees and from green fees. On the cost side, only moderate increases occurred, so that at the end of 2009 -compared to the previous year- improved operating results can be expected.

The results of an independent Autumn Survey 2009, conducted by the Munich-based golf course valuation expert, Dr Falk Billion (, paint a positive picture of the current economic situation of the German Golf Course industry.

The answers of 13% of Germany’s golf courses (90 participants, 54% clubs and 46% commercial operators) for the running year (October 2009 vs. October 2008) recorded the relatively highest increases in green fee revenues, followed by income from membership dues. Slight drawbacks were reported only on (sponsored) tournament revenues. Among the expenditures, staff costs, followed by operating costs (golf course and buildings maintenance) showed the relatively highest increase.

The increases on the revenue side in autumn 2009 compared to fall 2008 are relatively higher than those on the cost side. On a scale between 1 (minimum or ‘much less’) and 5 (maximum or ‘much higher’), two indices show the current values (October 2009):

* Revenues Index:           3.37

* Expenditures Index:   3.17

Compared among organizational sub-groups the sales increases within the group of operating companies (index 3.39) are relatively higher than within the group of golf clubs (index 3.34), whereas cost increases for operators were smaller (index 3.15) than for golf clubs (index 3.19). The bottom line results of commercial golf course operators for the 2009 season are, therefore, expected to be probably somewhat better than those of golf clubs.

Group Revenues Index Expenditures Index
All 3,37 3,17
Commercial Operators 3,39 3,15
Golf Clubs 3,34 3,19
Northern Germany 3,53 3,17
Southern Germany 3,21 3,18

Comparing regional sub-groups it is interesting that Dr Billion’s Autumn Survey 2009 finds that, with cost increases at almost the same level (index 3.17 and 3.18), golf courses in Northern Germany recorded significantly higher sales increases (index 3.53) than golf courses in the South (index 3.21).

Dr Falk Billion


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