Global Edition

Golf Club Finances Holding Steady Despite Rising Running Costs

3.53pm 23rd December 2019 - Management Topics

Findings from the latest golf club financial benchmarking study show that an increase in golf club running costs at the clubs surveyed has been offset by an increase in playing members. The increase in members may in part be due to closures of clubs elsewhere rather than an increase in demand.

The annual study, carried out each year by specialist golf club advisers and accountants Hillier Hopkins, has been running for 13 years. Golf club secretaries and managers across the country participate in the study and the resulting benchmarking report provides a valuable resource in the management of golf clubs.

This year, the survey included some new areas of interest to try to pick up on some emerging trends in the industry and to keep the benchmarking report as current as possible.

The 65 page benchmarking report contains a huge amount of financial comparisons and other details that clubs can use to help in the management of their club.

Robert Twydle, who heads up the specialist golf clubs team says, “These results confirm what we have been seeing at our golf club clients across the board. The clubs who have controlled their costs and improved their course and their offering are finding that their income has increased as has their ability to attract new members”. We appreciate the participation in the survey and hope that managers and secretaries find the benchmarking report to be a valuable resource.

Figures show that costs overall, including clubhouse expenditure, staffing and professional retainers are on the rise. There has also been an increase in the number of playing members across the participating clubs which reflects the trend for new members to be mainly focused on playing the game rather than just club membership.

Social membership numbers, however, have surprisingly decreased for the first time since the survey began in 2006. This year there have been marked increases in subscription rates and green fee charges after several years of virtual standstill. The survey also included the top anticipated challenges for clubs over the next five and ten years, which gives a good insight into where the golf industry is heading and is a useful list for managers to reflect upon.

If you would like to receive a copy of the report or sign up to take part in the 2020 survey please scan the QR code or contact Kirsten Byers on 01923 634 252 or

Hillier Hopkins



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