Golf club owner reveals £1.5m Covid-19 hit

A well-known East Midlands golf club owner says the Government needs to stop taking a reactive approach to the Covid-19 crisis, after revealing the pandemic is set to cost his business over £1.5m in lost turnover this year.

Alan Hardy, who owns the Nottinghamshire Golf Club near Stragglethorpe in Rushcliffe, will be forced to close from Thursday for 28 days after golfing bodies failed to secure an exemption for the game from the Government in the latest lockdown restrictions.

Hardy says he has also been forced to furlough most of the hospitality staff at the complex, which includes a restaurant, bar and hotel rooms.

He said: “I think most people agree that there needs to be a lockdown in some format and reduce the R number to below 1. It’s a shame though that the Prime Minister missed the two weeks school half term as that would have been an ideal time and it feels like another example of a constant reactive approach instead of a considered proactive strategy.

“The PM reiterated that is his intention to lift the lockdown on December 2, but we’ve already seen countless u-turns. I don’t think many of us would be surprised if it got extended to Christmas; he sort of sign-posted that subtly on Saturday night.”

Hardy says that the Nottinghamshire’s greens maintenance team will remain working during the lockdown to ensure the course is in pristine condition when members return – and a skeleton management team will also be left in position. However, he added that most of the food and beverage, hotel and retail teams have been furloughed for the month.

He added: “Ordinarily golf counts for 30% of our revenue so the stopping of weddings and now food and beverage in the clubhouse has had a massive impact on our top line and obviously through to our bottom line.

“We estimate that Covid-19 will cost us in excess of £1.5m in lost sales this year alone.”

The club has over 1,000 members – 800 of which are either seniors or retired.