England Golf sets up Covid emergency fund for golf clubs
With the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic having already led to the closure of several golf clubs in the UK, including Magnolia Park in Aylesbury and Patsull Park Hotel, Golf & Country Club near Wolverhampton, it is likely that many more clubs are suffering financial hardship as a result of the two-month course closures and the on-going lack of opportunities to generate revenue from clubhouse facilities while social distancing measures are still in place.
While many golfers are playing more golf than ever before, those that are unable to secure tee times are also turning to online online sports as an alternative. They can easily grab a Mr Play bonus code and enjoy from the comfort of their home. Brick-and-mortar facilities, on the other hand, are in dire need of financial support. Temporary course closures and the curtailing of domestic and international travel, have brought many golf clubs and facilities to their knees. Revenue from players and tourists has dried up. Life is now slowly going back to normal and activities are resuming, yet for many facilities, it could be too late unless they receive additional support.
A sum of £2.5 million has now been made available to struggling clubs from the R&A. England Golf opened a call for applications to all affiliated clubs and facilities on July 8. Jeremy Tomlinson, England Golf CEO, presented the concept in a letter sent to all potential beneficiaries. “May I take this opportunity to thank the R&A for supporting the club and amateur game through this fund and you, the clubs, for all your efforts over the past few difficult months,” the letter reads. “The spirit of community, dedication to the game, a willingness to find solutions in unprecedented times and your support of England Golf’s notes of guidance have been crucial to golf playing a prominent role in the nation’s sporting recovery.”
Tomlinson explained that the purpose of the fund is to provide short-term financial support to clubs and facilities. They will thus be able to develop a resilient business strategy and then plan for future sustainability. Clubs can now register an expression of interest and begin the application process to receive a grant of up to £10,000. The fund will try to support as many applicants as possible, although special consideration will be given to those with the most evident financial need who will be able to demonstrate an ongoing impact from grants received. Applicants will be asked to commit to England Golf’s policies on safeguarding and equality. The deadline to apply is 4pm on July 31.
The initiative is part of a £7 million funding package launched by the R&A on May 18th. National associations and other R&A affiliated bodies in Great Britain and Ireland will channel the benefits to their members. “The R&A Covid-19 Support Fund will enable national associations and other key bodies to provide support to some of their members,” Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, announced. “We know that many challenges lie ahead but club golf is the bedrock of our sport and hopefully this fund will help to begin the process of recovery.”