2022 Blog – “It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near one.” J.R.R. Tolkien

Is your golf club lurching from one predicament to another, or are they taking steps to ensure proper plans are in place to effectively tackle the inevitable?

It would not be unfair to state that historically, golf clubs are not renowned for being efficient or effective planners. Weighed down by traditionally a committee led, cumbersome decision making process, their reluctance to identify and act on patently obvious issues is legendary.

For those golf clubs who are still losing their planning and preparation battles, every day is like grabbling with a hydra – cut off one head, deal with one problem, and two more appear in place. The solution is to take a breath, stop reacting to the monster, and to find out how to keep it from appearing in the first place.

The golf industry is fortunate to have professional organisations that cover all aspects of the business – engaging with and seeking out expertise within this community is essential for clubs to make the best decisions possible in each area of their operation. We at Golf Finance fit into this paradigm through offering advice and securing funding packages to help golf clubs with their asset acquisition plans.

Let’s use irrigation projects as an example to explore here.

With many clubs running irrigation systems that are over 20 years old (in some cases, much older), the need to replace and upgrade is inevitable. Despite what some clubs with their heads secured in a fairy tale might believe, they will have to face this particular demon at some point. Golf clubs need to have a long term plan in place for managing what is an essential part of their course infrastructure.

Classically, what tends to happen is the club take one look at what will comfortably be a 6 figure cost to upgrade or replace their system, and will smash the panic button faster than you can say ‘please tuck in your polo shirt’. They will be paralysed at the thought of such expenditure, and will often end up doing nothing at all.

In reality that purchase which seems insurmountable at first glance can, with the right finance package, be split up into monthly payments spread over a period of 5, 7 or even 10 years to suit the club’s specific cash flow needs. The VAT payments can also be split over the same period. Through appropriate structuring, the purchase becomes affordable and sustainable for the business to manage, and the central product (the golf course) will enjoy the benefit of a brand new water control system.

Crucially, all this work is done pre-emptively before the old system breaks down or experiences major issues. The club deals with the predicament BEFORE it finds itself in a perilous situation of having no working irrigation – which it KNEW was always a danger. The hydra is defeated before it even shows up in the first place.

So rather than waiting until you have a problem, find out from the experts what can be done proactively. With the right support, some careful planning and a little luck, it is possible to overcome any obstacle – even the occasional dragon.

For further advice and information about proactive planning, contact the team at Golf Finance at sales@golffinance.co.uk or call 01620 890200. Surcharge applicable for Dragon and Hydra services.

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