Economic crisis bogies Sweden’s golf courses

golfIn difficult economic times, luxury items are usually the first things to go. Golf clubs across Sweden are feeling the pinch as duffers keep their irons in their bags and their green fees in their bank accounts. According to the Swedish Golf Federation, some 50 golf clubs are in financial trouble, and three clubs have declared bankruptcy in recent weeks.

The 1990s saw an explosion in golf course development across Sweden, accompanied by an equally robust membership drive. But lately, it seems only the well-established golf clubs are maintaining their popularity while the dozens of smaller ones are struggling to keep their members.

Such is the nature of leisure sports like golf that cater to those with disposable cash. High profile spots like the Bro Hof golf course outside of Stockholm charge members USD 50,000 for the privilege of playing on its links, and they are doing fine. Still, despite the recent bankruptcies, experts feel that few of the golf courses will actually have to close down for good.

Sweden’s golf federation head, Jan Ekblom, told the TT news agency, “From what I understand, there are only two courses where activity will cease completely. One is up north and now they’re raising trees. I’m not sure what’s happened with the other, but I heard a rumour that they’ve decided to grow carrots.”

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