In 1989 The Development Council of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrew’s produced a report “A Survey to assess the demand for and supply of golf and golf facilities between now  and AD2000”. The report said we needed 700 new golf courses in the UK. This report was supported by the Government, with messages for farmers to diversity into golf and easy planning consents for golf.
Having responded to that call for 700 new golf courses, golf course owners have found themselves on the receiving end of such distorted competition that it is impossible for many to survive much longer. This is what we are contending with:
- VAT – we have to charge VAT on membership subs. Members’ clubs don’t.
- VAT – thanks to the Bridport case their green fees will be VAT exempt too – with vast refunds of VAT back to 1990.
- Corporation Tax – frankly the members’ clubs fiddle their tax on green fees
- The Community Amateur Sports Club scheme (CASC) gives many members’ clubs 80% rate relief
- Members’ clubs have privileged liquor licensing for members’ only – but abuse it!
AGCO continues to work on all aspects of this distortion!