Golf Features News Roundup

• Burhill Golf Club sees huge increase in retail revenue

 Burhill Golf Club in Surrey has seen a positive increase in revenue from its professional shop, following a major renovation project in 2023

Burhill Group Limited (BGL) has announced that its 2023 refurbishment of its retail space at Burhill Golf Club has led to the group’s flagship professional shop becoming one of their most profitable retail venues.

In March 2023, BGL totally revamped the professional shop at Burhill Golf Club, in partnership with Millerbrown. The investment into the new retail space and Trackman custom fit studio totalled more than £250k and has been pivotal to a positive shift in retail revenue for the club and wider BGL group.

Burhill Golf Club’s retail space increased by 33% during the refurbishment allowing the venue to enhance the shop’s layout and visual merchandising, whilst increasing the representation of club-crested apparel and hardware. Despite three months of closure for refurbishment, the club achieved an 18% sales increase versus 2022 figures.

Group retail trading figures highlight a 9% rise on those from 2022, well above industry average. The Burhill pro shop offers a case study into the smart investments being made by BGL to generate more revenue for the business, developing the portfolio further.

Colin Mayes, CEO for BGL, commented: “It’s very pleasing to see the Burhill professional shop investment is proving to be a success, with exceptional revenue figures that have led Burhill to become one of our best performing retail venues. Our partnership with Millerbrown and the positive revenue performance allow us to consider further investment projects at our other venues around the UK.”

The Burhill Golf Club pro shop is the most recent of a string of successful investments from BGL, as they have partnered with expert golf retail and shopfitting company Millerbrown to complete four additional shop refurbishments: Birchwood Park Golf and Country Club, Thornbury Golf Centre, Ramsdale Park Golf Centre and Wycombe Heights Golf Centre. A Trackman custom fitting room was also installed at Burhill to complement the Trackman custom studio already implemented at Hoebridge Golf Centre.

Colin Mayes added: “The partnership we have made with Millerbrown has allowed us to take our pro shop retail spaces to the next level. We’ve seen an improvement in revenue at Burhill Golf Club, and that is testament to our combined focus on high-quality products and service, paired with strategic design and space planning. We’re excited to keep developing our golf retail spaces across the group.”

For more information on Burhill Group Limited, visit: www.bglcompany.co.uk. 

   

Prostate Cancer UK launches mixed pairs format to encourage golf club members to fundraise together

Prostate Cancer UK is launching a Mixed Pairs campaign for 2025 highlighting the role that women play in supporting their husbands, brothers, sons and friends who are impacted by the most common cancer in men. This new event format will further boost Prostate Cancer UK’s presence in the golf community and encourage golf club members and societies to come together raising awareness of prostate cancer risk and to help fund research to find better tests and treatments to save men’s lives. 

1 in 8 men in the UK are diagnosed with prostate cancer and for each man who is affected, there is often a network of women friends and family who are also indirectly impacted.  More and more women golfers are coming forward wanting to support Prostate Cancer UK, so this new initiative is designed to support golf clubs wanting to put on different types of events for their members and to encourage more women golfers to come forward and support the men in their lives.

“When someone in the golf club is diagnosed with prostate cancer, not only does it have a huge impact on the man diagnosed with the disease, it has a significant effect on their family, friends and golfing partners, ” commented Seren Evans, Head of Community and Events Fundraising at Prostate Cancer UK.

“Golfers want to be proactive and feel like they are doing something positive to show their support, which is where this new Mixed Pair fundraising event is perfect.  We love this format as it allows everyone at the club to get involved and it is also a fantastic way to celebrate men affected by prostate cancer and the women who have them supported them along the way.”

A number of female supporters, who have already raised significant amounts, will be celebrated at the Mixed Tournament launch event taking place at Little Aston in Birmingham on 24th July this year.  Participants include David and Sandra Hadley-Smith.

“It was a huge shock when I was diagnosed with prostate cancer,” says David a member at Moor Hall Golf Club in Sutton Coldfield.  “I panicked and did the worst thing you can do and go on Google. But it was my wife Sandra, my family and friends, who got me through and helped me deal with the diagnosis. Her support has been unwavering, and we both decided to raise money for Prostate Cancer UK via our club. We’re delighted there’s a new format for a golfing event to raise money; Sandra and I regularly play in Mixed Pairs events so we’re very keen to support this new initiative.”

The new format will be rolled out to golf clubs across the country later this year forming a new part of an already significant golf programme for Prostate Cancer UK. In the last ten years £6,000,000 has been raised through the charity’s tailored support for golf club captains, golfers wishing to hold golf days and more recently through The Big Golf Race, the charity’s flagship golf fundraiser that asks golfers to play 36, 72 or 100+ holes in day. 

Prostate Cancer UK will work with The PGA, the UK Golf Federation, the British Golf Industry Association and HowDidiDo to encourage golfers to organise and take part in this new Mixed Pairs format to help save men’s lives.  

Golfers wishing to set up their own Mixed Pairs event to raise money for Prostate Cancer UK in 2025 can expect expert support from the charity’s golfing team including a golf fundraising pack including golf balls, tees, health information and branded merchandise as well as tailored support and advice on the best practise ways to set up and organise the events.

For more details visit prostatecanceruk.org/golf or email golf@prostatecanceruk.org 

Scotland’s first Toptracer facility, Mearns Castle, hits the 10 million mark

Mearns Castle Golf Academy in Glasgow was one of the very early adopters of Toptracer, becoming the very first venue in Scotland to install the technology in 2016. Since then, the venue has dramatically increased revenue, footfall, and number of balls hit – becoming one of the UK’s busiest Toptracer ranges with more than 10 million golf balls hit each year.

In the first year post-install, Mearns Castle saw marginal gains, increasing its yearly total of golf balls hit to just over 4million. The next year, with Toptracer’s product continuing to improve and gain traction, turnover was up 25% at the Glasgow driving range, growth that continued steadily through 2020.

2020 brought challenges worldwide, and whilst the initial lockdowns in Scotland hampered business, the long-term impact of golf’s wider growth has certainly been felt at Mearns Castle – the number of range balls hit on the range now tops 10 million per-year, a growth of over 150% on pre-Toptracer numbers.

Russell Gray, General Manager at Mearns Castle, commented on how Toptracer has helped the business succeed in the last four years: 

“Toptracer allowed us to ride that golf participation wave during 2020 and 2021, and maximise revenue during a really strange time. We put up numbers in those years that I don’t think we will ever repeat, and that was almost entirely thanks to Toptracer that we were able to do that.”

The increase in traffic to the range has benefitted the wider business in more ways than one, as the on-site café is more popular than ever, whilst bookings for the venue’s conference, meeting and party rooms have climbed dramatically. On the golf side of the business, the on-site golf course now has almost 20% more tee time bookings than pre-pandemic levels, golf memberships are up, and the venue’s in-house golf professionals are regularly fully booked.

The venue has also seen an increase in non-golfers using the facility, calculating a 50/50 split between golfers and non-golfers of all demographics, across a variety of ages and abilities. In particular, the venue has noticed a significant uptick in 20 to 35-year-olds visiting the driving range, alongside increased numbers of female customers. 

“Their software and their experience is constantly being upgraded with new games, new features, and more - and that comes basically every quarter, making sure that there’s something fresh and exciting for the customer. What Toptracer gives the driving range is really something unique and high quality to market and to sell to people,” added Gray.

Simon Barratt joins UK division of Golf Genius

Golf Genius, the leading provider of cloud-hosted golf software solutions, has announced the appointment of Simon Barratt as its new Sales Manager for Midlands, South of England and Wales. 

With over 20 years of experience in golf software, Barratt has previously held roles across support, training, implementation, account management, and new business sales. This includes working closely with The R&A to supply World Handicapping System (WHS) services to golf clubs in more than 15 countries. 

Beginning with immediate effect, Barratt will work closely with golf facilities across these regions to provide them with the most appropriate solutions for addressing their current and future operational needs.

“I’m delighted to be joining Golf Genius and supporting them with my knowledge and experience at a crucial time for the industry,” comments Barratt.”UK Golf clubs and resorts are facing an uphill battle to manage the unprecedented levels of participation and demand being seen, so having the opportunity to provide them with the best solutions available in the market through Golf Genius is really motivating.”

The news further demonstrates an expansion in Golf Genius’ operational presence across the UK market and strengthens its commitment to supporting golf facilities across the country with its market-leading software solutions.

General Manager of Golf Genius - UK, Nick Stocking, commented: “Simon is a strong addition to our team. His knowledge, experience and track record of success will deliver opportunities for more UK golf clubs to benefit from the best-in-class software and services that Golf Genius is renowned for.”

To find out more about Golf Genius and how it can benefit your golf facility, you can contact Simon Barratt at simon.barratt@golfgenius.com.