Jones scoffs at Liberal Democrat MP’s suggestion that courses should be built on
THE chief executive of the PGA has hit back at Government Business Secretary Vince Cable’s claims that the country’s housing crisis could be solved by building over golf courses.
Cable, the Liberal Democrat MP for Twickenham, made the remarks following research published by the London School of Economics that showed more of Surrey is devoted to golf courses than housing.
The politician said that, if he was in a middle income family in the county and was struggling to find a home, he would “ask myself is a golf course sacred or are there better uses of the land?”
According to England Golf, there are 103 golf clubs in Surrey, whilst Inside Housing analysis has shown that 150,000 hectares of England’s 13.4m hectares is covered by golf courses – the equivalent of 1.1% of the total land in the country.
Responding to Cable’s remarks, PGA chief Sandy Jones, pictured below, insisted that he was wide of the mark.
“Golf plays a significant role both in its economic impact and also in delivering social, behaviour and sporting benefits,” he said.
“The 100-plus courses in Surrey generate hundreds of jobs across the community and millions of pounds of revenue, so I don’t think the contribution golf makes to the community should be underestimated.”
A PGA-commissioned study by Sports Marketing Surveys Inc supports Jones’ argument. That report demonstrated that golf has an annual €6.1billion impact in Great Britain and Ireland, and a €15.1billion impact across Europe, with 180,000 people employed across the industry.