8% of club leaders describe their current cash position as Critical, while a further 29% classify theirs as Concerning. This is the uncertain landscape facing clubs as they continue their phased re-opening across the UK and Ireland.

The research carried out by global consulting firm GGA Partners, surveyed 1,800 golf, leisure and private club leaders across the UK and Ireland. The published report is the second in their ‘Change Study” which examines the appetite and capacity for implementing much needed change at such clubs while also identifying some of the impacts of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) on the sector.

“It is impossible to anticipate every challenge clubs will face in the months ahead, but we can say with certainty that long-term financial stability is an issue confronting every club leader” according to Rob Hill, Managing Partner at the firm’s EMEA practice based in Dublin, “The survey results highlight that now more than ever it is imperative that club leaders have access to the critical information which impacts their business, and plan diligently to secure their financial future. In the midst of a crisis, prudent financial stewards should embark on a phased approach to financial planning and analysis focussing on cash preservation, sustainability, and opportunity”.

Conducted with the support of the England Region of CMAE (Club Managers Association of Europe), GGA’s survey also revealed the scale and challenge facing club leaders in implementing the much needed cultural, operational and strategic change clubs will rely on to thrive in the future. Hill notes “Our survey attracted submissions from golf, leisure and private club leaders immersed in the implementation of change projects across their organisations and the results demonstrate that change isn’t merely a constant for clubs and leisure businesses today, but it is exponential”.

The majority of clubs are currently implementing changes to their governance model or practices (62%), in capital planning capabilities (52%) and in technological enhancements (51%). A high degree of change is also evident across a spectrum of operational functions such as food and beverage, staffing, as well as in aspects of club culture and capital management.

“Unfortunately, what the research also confirms, is that clubs find implementing change extremely difficult and rarely achieve the outcomes they intend,” Hill continued, “which consequently greatly hinders their club or organisation’s overall success.”

The results of GGA Partners’ survey – The Change Study, Survey Report 2 – Implementing Change, is available for download at https://ggapartners.com/insights/#latest-research-whitepapers