There is no doubt that 2020 has been a year like no other in recent history. We have seen challenges like never before, yet we have managed to overcome some of them thanks to technology and the Internet.
During this year, some industries, mostly those from the entertainment category, such as online casino operators and esports games, saw a business boom. The world of sports has also been deeply impacted, both professional sports and sporting activities such as golf.
When it comes to the latter, there could be quite a rollercoaster ride ahead for golf in Ireland. This is, of course, a favourite pastime for many people. A lot of golf fans have club memberships and enjoy teeing off on a regular basis, particularly during the late spring and summer. But there is no doubt that Ireland has seen sharp growth and decline when it comes to golf – and this could be set to continue unfortunately.
Over recent years, golf in Ireland has been up and down in terms of figures, and this is something that has been affected by a range of factors. According to figures, golf clubs in Ireland had collective membership numbers of 250,000 back in 2007. However, at the end of that year, the global financial crisis took hold, and this may have impacted memberships.
Since 2007, the figures went into decline, and one of the reasons behind this may have been the impact of the financial crisis, which took its toll on businesses and individual finances. In fact, by last year, the figure had fallen to 180,000 after years of decline.
Of course, this year has come with its own challenges, and further impacted memberships. With businesses and facilities closed for extended periods of time, many businesses including golf clubs faced financial devastation. However, there was a surprise in store for Irish golf clubs once facilities were allowed to reopen again.
It seems that golf in Ireland is set to continue its rollercoaster ride following the reopening of clubs. Once golf clubs were allowed to open back up this summer, many ran special promotions to attract new people. In addition, there may have been many people who were eager to get out and start with the physical activities once again.
The upshot of this was a sharp increase in memberships at many of Ireland’s golf clubs, as reported by their management. This will no doubt have come as a welcome surprise for club operators and help alleviate financial situations. Some golf clubs found hundreds of new members signing up, with many reporting unprecedented growth since they opened their doors back up in the summer.
It is thought that the Golfing Union of Ireland is now on track to report the first year-on-year increase since 2007, although there is no indication of the extent of the increase. However, it is a positive trend at least.
Golf scene has its problems regardless of the global situation. Membership models are being challenged and golf clubs will have to adapt, although many are traditional and resistant to change. One of the solutions might be expanding the offer in the clubs to other activities and trying to attract a younger population as well as women.