Global Edition

Top Performers Force Others to Raise Their Game

12.20am 26th January 2007 - Management Topics

A staggering 97% of last year’s sales growth in the UK golf courses & clubs industry went to just 16 firms, according to a new analysis of the market by leading industry commentators Plimsoll Publishing.

The flipside of the coin is that many others are struggling to survive in an atmosphere of declining sales and increasing debt, with at least 36 staring failure in the face.

The assessment confirms that constant rounds of consolidation are creating “super companies” that are exerting an increasing control over the market. Most of the companies in question are large, with sales over £10m.

The just published research includes an individual analysis of 940 companies in the golf courses & clubs sector and shows the impact these increasingly powerful companies are exercising in the market.

David Pattison, senior research analyst, commented, “Looked at separately these 16 super companies are great news for the industry. Yet the reality is much more disturbing. These companies are forcing such intense competition that others are battling for survival.”

He added: “Unless some of the worst performing companies start to come to terms with the financial implications of flat or declining sales, they will go bust or be forced to sell up. It really is a time of either joy or tears. The market hungry will use this analysis to seek out companies to approach and buy. For the others, desperate to sell, it’s a case of finding a buyer.”

Among the 924 other companies covered in the analysis:

489 firms are caught in the retreat, despite efforts to control their costs, reduce staff numbers or sell off some investment. So far this has had little impact on their ability to stay in the market.

127 of the worst affected companies saw sales decline by an average of 4% in one year. As a result, more that half of these lost money because extra costs could not be passed on into sales.

36 of these firms are working under such an escalating debt burden that the likelihood of failure must be considered extremely high.

The full analysis contains an individual profile of each of the UK’s top 940 golf courses & clubs companies. It shows at a glance the impact the changing marketplace is having on each company.

Readers of Golf Business can obtain the full report for £300 – a discount of £50 – by quoting the code PR01 when ordering online at, by calling 01642 626400 or by emailing

Plimsoll Golf Reports

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