Global Edition

The Revenue Club Reports Further UK Growth in 2021

2.46pm 2nd February 2022 - Management Topics

Despite the doubts around whether the golf industry could replicate the high levels of participation experienced in 2020, The Revenue Club has reported on a 1% growth in visitor revenue across their UK and Ireland customer base in 2021. The average golf club generated £169,878 in casual green fee income with online sales revenue amounting to 74% of overall sales which is a 7% year on year increase. This has been achieved despite a 7% drop in the number of golfers that have played.

Even though a quarter of the year was lost to Covid enforced closures in England and Ireland, this was a second record breaking year in a row for the sector. The summer was largely unaffected by Covid restrictions so the high sales volume that was generated appears to be the new normal. With this in mind it is probable that the market will experience further growth in 2022 if further closures can be avoided.

In comparison to 2019, casual green fee sales have increased by 43%, driven primarily by a growth in online sales which have quadrupled in the last two years with the average club generating £109,271 via direct website bookings in 2021. This illustrates a change in booking habits of visiting golfers who are showing a tendency to book directly with the golf club rather than through third parties and brokers whose share of the visitor market has reduced from 15% in 2019 to 5% in 2021.

Encouragingly, the average green fee has beaten inflation with an 8% increase in 2021 to £21.88. These higher prices have led to a 10% rise in the average sale price to £50.10 per booking. Both increases are more significant than the change from 2019 to 2020 so the majority of golf course operators have successfully capitalised on golfers’ acceptance of higher prices.

Web traffic to visitor booking engines decreased by 3% year on year which suggests there was a slight reduction in demand although overall growth was achieved by the price increases. This web traffic converted to bookings at an average of 13% which is a slight drop on 2020 but still considerably higher than the 9% level in 2019 which underlines how online sales continue to be a key growth area of the market.

Commenting on the report, Chris Knight, Director at The Revenue Club said ‘It is exciting to see how the levels of participation were sustained in 2021 which provides excellent opportunities for everyone connected with the industry. We’ve really enjoyed working alongside our partner clubs over the past year, helping them to capitalise on the additional demand and ensuring that we develop a firm foundation to carry the growth into the future.’

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