The Secret Secretary

Our anonymous secretary on VAT changes, speed of play and joining fees

What do you make of the current VAT system and the recent rule changes?
I guess VAT is something that we have accepted. I am astounded at the amount of money HMRC could be required to pay back and I question where it will come from. Things are far from clear at present and we are certainly not counting our chickens.

Does a joining fee have any place in the current climate?
If you are lucky enough to have a golf club that can still justify a joining fee then yes of course. Not having an entrance fee might mean you can attract a larger number of new members but they will only be replacing the ones dropping out each year.

Does golf take too long?
If you are a working mum almost certainly, but I think the majority of regular golfers are comfortable with committing a half day to their game. However, speed of play is important. Stories of five-and-a-half hour rounds horrify me.

Is golf overpriced?
I think you can say that about anything in life. It’s mostly about how you choose to spend your disposable income. Golf clubs cost a huge amount of money to run and in a members’ club everything gets re-invested in the product.

How healthy is club golf?
I take on about two or three new members each year who have been nomadic golfers for a good few years. I believe that the majority of regular golfers can see the attraction of the sense of belonging to a club when they can justify the outlay.

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