Granite City ranks second nationwide in website survey, with Edinburgh third - but it’s not such good news for Glasgow
By Martin Inglis
ABERDEEN is the second most affordable city in the UK for golf club memberships, according to a new study - with Edinburgh a close third
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.
It found 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.
That’s marginally more affordable than Aberdeen, where locals – earning an average weekly wage of £644.10 – are required to work 43 hours and 13 minutes to cover the cost of a golf club membership.
Edinburgh is the only other UK city where residents don’t need to work more than 50 hours to afford their golf, with a requirement to work an average of 44 hours and 47 minutes. Swansea and York complete the top five.
Glasgow residents need to work an average of 63 hours and 19 minutes – almost 20 hours more than Aberdonians – to afford to be a golf club member. That places Scotland’s most populous city 13th on the national affordability list.
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 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 roughly 20 golf courses within a ten miles of Aberdeen city centre, including Royal Aberdeen, Murcar Links and the Paul Lawrie Golf Centre, purchased by the 1999 Open champion, pictured, in 2012.