The golf club, course and range business in the U K should be “cautiously optimistic” about its prospects for the year ahead, delegates at the Golf Business Industry Convention (GolfBIC) heard this week.
The comments were made by Colin Mayes, Chairman of the UK Golf Course Owners Association (UKGCOA) at the start of the two-day conference at the Marriott Forest of Arden, March 10-11, 2014.
“We all know how difficult it has been and the weather has cost us all money,” said Colin Mayes. “But, despite all the problems of the past couple of months, we are looking up and are cautiously optimistic. Everybody I speak to is reporting reasonably good numbers and we should all be looking forward to the summer with confidence.”
Colin Mayes, who is also Chief Executive of BGL Golf, which owns and operates 10 golf venues in the UK, encouraged clubs, courses and ranges to back National Golf Month, which featured high on the agenda at GolfBIC.
“You’ll hear a lot about National Golf Month and I would urge everyone to get involved,” he continued. “It is difficult to pull all of golf’s organisations together, but we have done it and now we have a great opportunity to develop golf and bring new people into the game.”
More than 270 delegates attended GolfBIC, which is a joint venture between The UK Golf Course Owners Association (UKGCOA) and The Organisation of Golf & Range Operators (OGRO).
The two-day event featured insightful seminars, topical workshops, exhibition, networking and a charity dinner that raised more than £6,000 for the Golf Foundation.
Sandy Jones, Chief Executive of the PGA, was guest speaker and brought with him the iconic Ryder Cup trophy.
Andy Lloyd-Skinner, Chief Executive of the UKGCOA, said: “The UK’s golf industry is alive and kicking with golf course owners and operators determined, and more than capable of throwing off the shackles of the last five years of economic and weather-related challenges. This was demonstrated during the last two days at GolfBIC during which the hunger for information on different ways to develop their golf businesses was clearly evident amongst attendees.
“The ongoing efforts of a number of individuals and various bodies involved in the UK’s golf industry has resulted in a unity of purpose within golf which was demonstrated at GolfBIC and has not been seen before in the industry.”
Colin Jenkins, co-founder of OGRO and GolfBIC, said: “GolfBIC goes from strength to strength, with an increasing relevance to golf operators. There are new ideas, refined concepts and plenty of opportunities to network with fantastic delegates, great speakers and high quality exhibitors and sponsors.
“Golf is tough for some at present, but the GolfBIC delegates were looking forward to the new season with relish – a good sign of the collective optimism for the coming year. The National Golf Month presentation was exceptional and congratulations to Doug Poole and his committed team who have provided a great opportunity for golf operators to find new golfers this spring.”
Image Colin Mayes, Chairman of the UK Golf Course Owners Association (UKGCOA)