London, England: A survey of avid golfers who are not members of clubs in England in late May has found that more than two in five are considering joining a club at the moment.
The poll also found that more than one in three have reported that green fees have risen, according to a report in The Golf Business magazine.
Golf has been in huge demand since the lockdown restrictions were eased, with many clubs prioritising their members. However, some clubs, particularly proprietary ones, have business models that are more reliant on golfers who are not members of clubs, but choose to ‘pay and play’ instead.
As a result, a number of ‘nomadic’ golfers have been able to play in England in the last two to three weeks.
The Golfshake survey of 929 golfers who play at least 30 times per year, conducted in the last week of May, found that, despite the large numbers of people golfing at the moment, nearly a third (31 per cent) have not played since golf resumed, for reasons such as waiting for the current large footfall to reduce.
When asked about joining a club, one in 10 said ‘yes’, while 32 per cent of respondents said ‘that they may look to join a club’. In total, 42 per cent of avid nomadic golfers said they either are considering joining a club or will join/have already joined one following the easing of lockdown restrictions.
Reasons why included that they now work from home so it is easier to do this.
When asked ‘how did the green fee price reflect what you normally would pay?’, 33 per cent said they had seen a £5 to £10 rise in green fee prices and a further three per cent stated the increase was over £10.
Many of the comments from golfers surveyed were defending the price rises, with some saying they were happy to pay the extra amount, and some noting that courses were still fully booked despite the rises.
However, some golfers did say they will not return to venues that have raised their prices by significant amounts.
Furthermore, just one in 10 avid golfers said they will play less golf in future (for reasons such as health and safety fears), while more than a third (34 per cent) said they intend to play more than they used to.