By Andy Sambidge
New report reveals 73% of regional golf businesses doing well compared to just 49% globally
The Middle East is leading the way for profitable golf courses in the world, following the fallout from the economic downturn, a new report has revealed.
While less than half (49 percent) of golf courses in Europe, the Middle East and Africa were profitable in 2010, the figure for the MENA region leapt to 73 percent reporting good results.
The new KPMG Golf Benchmark Survey also showed that rounds and revenues were down last year amid widespread cost-cutting and price adjustments at clubs.
However, the survey of over 350 golf courses also showed that the business performance of golf courses varied from region to region, with the Middle East performing strongly.
In Europe, the Middle East and Africa, almost half of all golf facilities reported a drop in the number of rounds played (43 percent) and revenues (44 percent).
Courses in Eastern Europe performed poorly (33 percent made a loss) while those in Middle East & North Africa fared well with 73 percent reporting 'good' results.
The report also said that one in 12 owners were considering selling their facility.
Andrea Sartori, head of KPMG's Golf Advisory Practice, said: "Undeniably, the effects of the economic downturn remain evident in the business performance of golf courses across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
"Reduced rounds and revenues during 2010 have had a clear impact on the profitability of golf facilities, despite widespread cost cutting and price adjustments, especially in relation to joining fees.
"However, there are some positive signs and the performance of courses in both Central Europe, as well as the Middle East and North Africa, lead the way."
The study said Middle East facilities retained a high level of performance with development of new golf courses in this region, aligned to resorts and residential communities, continues apace, although the long-term impact of political events in North Africa is not yet known.For all the latest sports news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
I think the article forget to mention that its pretty darn expensive to play golf in the ME. Last I read it costs $140 per game in Dubai.