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golf without course

How much? Nearly half of golfers say they’re paying more than £1,000 for club membership

New survey results show the increasing cost of playing the game – and are more starting to think about packing in?

 

Are your golf membership fees now into four figures? Nearly half of players surveyed say they’re are now paying more than £1,000.

The survey, of more than 1,600 golfers conducted by Golfshake, revealed that golf club fees have significantly increased over the last five years – with more than double the number of players shelling out a grand or more to be a member.

Golfshake revealed in 2018, 19.6 per cent of respondents said they were paying more than £1,000. That figure is now at 43.5 per cent.

The figures also reflected a trend in the rising cost of playing the game with members spending more annually on golf balls, clothing, and practising.

Golf membership: Will you be renewing in 2024?

golf club membership

Golfshake’s membership survey also asked players whether they would be renewing in 2024 and, while 78 per cent of respondents confirmed they would be carrying on, some 17 per cent said they were undecided about whether to continue.

That compared with 89 per cent who said they were going to renew in 2021 following the huge boom in the sport’s popularity following the Covid-19 pandemic.

While the cost-of-living crisis was widely expected to impact both clubs and members last year, with some clubs having to sign expensive new energy contracts and golfers expected to bear the brunt of their course’s rising utility bills, the Government’s decision to subsidise the costs of householders did give people more income than initially expected.

While prices fell over the course of 2023, the energy cap remains high at £1,928 between January and March 2024 and now golfers will not receive the support of last winter.

With clubs about to reveal their 2024 subscription rates, and BRS Golf figures showing a very slight decline in membership over the first half of last year, it will be interesting to see if the sport is reaching a tipping point in terms of costs.

Now have your say

Are you planning to give up your golf membership, or is there little that could shift you from the course? Let me know with a comment on X.

Steve Carroll

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 25 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former club captain, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the R&A's prestigious Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar.

Steve has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying, PGA Fourball Championship, English Men's Senior Amateur, and the North of England Amateur Championship. In 2023, he made his international debut as part of the team that refereed England vs Switzerland U16 girls.

A part of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. He currently floats at around 11.

Steve plays at Close House, in Newcastle, and York GC, where he is a member of the club's matches and competitions committee and referees the annual 36-hole scratch York Rose Bowl.

Having studied history at Newcastle University, he became a journalist having passed his NTCJ exams at Darlington College of Technology.

What's in Steve's bag: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver, 3-wood, and hybrids; TaylorMade Stealth 2 irons; TaylorMade Hi-Toe, Ping ChipR, Sik Putter.

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