From major golf transactions in October to signs that the principles underlying golf course design is changing, here’s three top trends from the last month.
Urban golf clubs are seizing an opportunity
High Throston Golf Club is near supermarkets, schools and housing in Hartlepool, and therefore is this year hosting its first Christmas market , featuring outdoor stalls and an indoor section including a café.
Since announcing it would do this, there have been over 100 enquiries for stalls – so the club is considering hosting multiple markets throughout the year. “It’s walking distance to loads of areas in Hartlepool and the golf course looks amazing,” explained club manager Kelly Forcer, as to why this idea appears to be a success.
Golf course design may be about to change
For the last 100 years the industry has typically followed 13 principles of golf architecture. However, a new survey has found that golf course architects no longer feel that having two loops of nine, that the course should look like Augusta all-year-round, that there should be no excessive rough and that there should be a sufficient number of ‘heroic carries’, are essential, and instead a new principle has emerged: the design must extend beyond the golf course itself and look at the whole ‘experience’.
Confidence is building regarding incoming golf tourism
It’s been a tough time for any venue that relies on overseas visitors but there are signs that that has come to an end. On the same day last month both The Belfry and Slieve Donard Resort and Spa were sold to major US companies . As the seller of the latter said: “This is encouraging news for hospitality and tourism and, in particular, for the burgeoning golf tourism industry [in Northern Ireland] – which has been an important driver of local tourism in recent years and shows significant growth potential in the future.”