We offer in-depth knowledge of the golf sector, with long standing experience of advising private and proprietary members' clubs, banks, hoteliers and operators, including the provision of advice on major industry bids and on business regeneration.
We have advised developers, operators, banks and funders across the world. We can advise on a private member’s club in the UK, to a resort course in Cape Verde to a major resort development in Kazakhstan.
We offer a range of services to the golf industry including the following:
- Agency and brokerage
- Rent review and lease renewal
- Feasibility and development advice
If you are considering selling your course, we see values beginning to consolidate and purchaser demand returning to the market. The banks however still view golf with caution, but a good, well managed course, with a reasonable split of green fee, membership and food and beverage income should always attract interest. Operators looking to sell a course should start the sales process now, even if they are looking to exit later in the year. Maximise the number of rounds played, commence ground improvements works if needed and ensure that the accounts a clear and unambiguous. Make sure players and membership numbers are clear and accurate and look to take costs out of the food and beverage operations, which commonly generate limited profit despite substantial turnover. Give the agronomist a call and attend to any weed invasions, drainage issues and tidy the landscaping. Most of all, make sure the golf on offer is the best quality for the price charged.
Few new golf courses are currently under development, and those under construction have used historic planning permissions and have effectively in-filled the small number of locations where demand and a suitable catchment population have been identified.
We have the skills and experience to advise on all course, especially private membership courses which require detailed knowledge of the sector.. Few private members' courses are offered to the market in any year. Generally, such courses are maintained with little borrowing or have sufficient reserves to manage debt. Most private members' clubs operate for the benefit of the members and are not operated commercially. They achieve a "residue" rather than a profit, and as such are more likely to close in poor weather and to limit visitor numbers. The realisation prices of such clubs are often not directly attributable to the historic trading performance, but to the potential to operate on a commercial basis. Corporate and high net worth operators are interested in this type of club, and a bid will reflect the buyer's confidence about placing the course on a more commercial footing, with increased society and visitor golf.
Whilst some of the weaker courses may have closed due to the downturn, interest in the sport remains strong. Like many markets dependent on disposable income, golf has suffered during the recession. Conversations with course owners suggest that joining fees have been difficult to achieve and waiting lists have declined, with many courses having less than full membership.
It was not unexpected to see companies tighten their belts and limit and reduce corporate golf days, the extent of hospitality packages and the size of the parties. However, golf is a popular and good value corporate entertainment package and again, our conversations with operators indicate that firms are beginning to forward book client days at a higher rate than the previous year.