Global Edition

Opportunities amid the gloom in UK Golf Courses & Clubs

7.53am 23rd March 2009 - Management Topics

On the face of it, news in the UK Golf Courses & Clubs industry is grim: with a record number of companies losing money, and overall business values plummeting to the extent that almost half are now worth less than half their value of 12 months ago, it’s difficult to find much good news.

However a new study by industry analysts Plimsoll Publishing, suggests that the current economic downturn represents one of the biggest opportunities in a generation, for those with the courage and the capital.

The study has rated each of the UK’s leading 900 Golf Courses & Clubs companies on their acquisition attractiveness. It found that 260 companies are ‘ripe for the picking’ based on a combined scoring system, incorporating overall financial strength, ownership, valuation and future potential.

These 260 companies are all privately owned, yet are showing a serious deterioration in the financial performance. Given the reluctance of the banks to lend more, their time, money and options are running out.

David Pattison, senior analyst at Plimsoll, explains the results. “What we have indentified here is a group of ‘wounded animals’, many of these businesses have a long and distinguished history, yet their recent performance has deteriorated. By definition these are classic acquisitions. Anyone looking to grow their own company through acquisition should be looking for businesses that are currently undervalued yet, with help, can be turned around.”

However, as Pattison points out, “This will not be easy. Many will need rapid and deep cost cutting to get them back on a firm financial footing. We could see as many as 2,750 jobs go over the next 12 to 24 months as these companies shrink to ensure their survival.”

Yet despite this dour prediction Pattison sees a massive opportunity in the UK Golf Courses & Clubs market. “The current market conditions have presented an unprecedented set of opportunities to buy into a business that even a year ago would have been unaffordable. We know of at least 250 companies within the industry, who have the cash to spend and could aid these 260 ailing businesses and ensure their survival.”

The full analysis will help anyone in the industry, not only those looking to snap up a cheap acquisition, but also those looking for an investor, buyer to help target those with cash to spend.

Copes of the full analysis are available for £350 and by calling Clair Sherwood on 01642 626400 or emailing

Plimsoll Publishing

In related news... (GBN) is for the many thousands of people who work in the golf business all around the world.

We cover the full range of topics both on and off the course. We aim to supply essential information both quickly and accurately in a format which is easy to use. We are independent of all special interest groups.


Click here to sign up for our free twice weekly golf industry news summary

View the latest newsletter here