By Design – Issue 61, Spring 2023

14 GOLF AND THE ECONOMY The well-documented boom in golf provided most clubs with a boost in fortunes. As the ‘waiting list’ made its return to the industry’s vocabulary, bank balances swelled, and a renewed sense of confidence emerged. Thoughts quickly turned to how the money could be spent and, after years of deferred maintenance, course projects have been high on the agenda. Meanwhile, the wider global economy is exhibiting more hesitance. As nations were counting the cost of the pandemic, war began in Ukraine, energy prices rocketed, and supply chains faltered. Even in the US, which is faring better than many golfing nations, growth has slowed, and inflation persisted. “With the growth in rounds played in recent years, golf facilities are Stick or twist? Golf may have boomed, but the wider economic outlook remains uncertain. Richard Humphreys considers whether clubs should proceed with caution or press ahead with new investments. Bill Shonk, general manager at Princess Anne CC, examines plans with Jordan Spitler, the club’s director of golf course maintenance and club grounds