North East city comes out top in website survey – but it’s not such good news for Southampton and Leicester
By Michael McEwan
Newcastle is the most affordable city in the UK for golf club memberships, according to a new study.
A GolfSupport.com survey of 560 residents in 18 towns and cities across the country compared the average cost of a golf club membership in those areas with the average weekly wages for residents in those areas, using information from the Office of National Statistics.
That demonstrated that golf clubs in Newcastle-upon-Tyne are the most affordable for local residents, requiring them to work just 41 hours and 36 minutes to be able to afford a membership.
York was the next most affordable city in England, sitting in fifth place, with Aberdeen second, Edinburgh third and Swansea fourth.
At the opposite end of the scale, golf clubs in Southampton came in as the most expensive. With an average membership fee of £1,086.40 and weekly wages of just over £545, it would take a local resident living there 79 hours and 42 minutes to afford a membership - almost twice as long as those living in Newcastle.
It was a similar story in Leicester, where locals would need to work 79 hours and 24 minutes to afford a typical golf club membership.
Sharing his company’s findings, Gary Swift, the managing director of GolfSupport.com, said: “This research is certainly fascinating as golf clubs have repeatedly been criticised for their membership prices, with many all too often stating they are either too high or realistically only attainable for certain groups in society.
“If golf clubs considered taking into account the general earnings of the local population in the area they are located, they would be in a better position to adjust their prices to provide much greater value.
“Consequently, genuine interest and intention to join from local residents could significantly increase and, in the process, improve the reputation of golf as an inclusive sport for all.”
There are numerous courses in and around Newcastle city centre, including Wallsend, Newcastle United GC, Whitley Bay and Tynemouth. Close House, located just a short drive from the city centre, will stage this year’s British Masters, hosted by Ryder Cup hero Lee Westwood, left, who has been attached to the club since 2011.