The big story occupying most of the golf trade at the moment is the recent administration and sale of American Golf.
The big story occupying most of the golf trade at the moment is the recent administration and sale of American Golf. Personally I speak as someone professionally involved with American Golf and also as a landlord to them at Grimsby Golf Centre. The last few weeks have been quite anxious for many of us with commercial operations based around the delivery of retail and other services by American Golf.
The new owners of American Golf are called Endless. This is a great name for many things and I do hope that it proves to be enduring for American Golf. The golf industry very much needs a major retail player. American Golf has created thousands of golfers during its existence and while it may be unpopular with some traditional golf professionals, due to the very stiff competition that it gives other retailers in the marketplace, it is difficult to argue against many of the benefits that it is brought to our industry. It remains as the largest employer of PGA professionals in the country.
Now however, things have changed hugely. The position with regard to the suppliers of American Golf has not yet been fully established, but what is crystal clear is that many of them have lost hundreds of thousands of pounds during this process. Also, 20 stores have closed with the loss of 100 jobs. Many of us may have been inconvenienced by having to adjust the retail operations, but 100 people losing their jobs will undoubtably bring genuine hardship to many families.
We hope that Sam Tyrer and Ian Williams, as Chief Executive and Finance Director respectively, will continue to provide excellent leadership at the top of American Golf for many years to come. I have great faith that they will continue to do the best for those that have been damaged during the process of this pre-pack and restart routine, as well as driving the business forward in the coming years.
I almost forgot to mention the Ryder Cup. An absolutely glorious display by the European team marred ever so slightly by a bit of cheap booing of the Americans. It will be hard to improve on this event which is genuinely exciting and provides a great sense of team in this otherwise individualistic sport. Perhaps throwing those that ‘boo’ and shout ‘get in the hole’ into the lake by the 18th green would add a little more cheer to the proceedings.