Number of golf courses in Slovakia increases, number of players does not

Golf does not reap large profits, resort owners claim.

Black Stork golf course near High TatrasBlack Stork golf course near High Tatras(Source: TASR)

Many golf courses, too few players; this is what Slovak golf resorts are struggling with. Most of them barely survive economically, or are slightly profitable in the best case scenario. Others are financed by investors.

Read also:Golf finding its way in Slovakia (Spectacular Slovakia - travel guide)

Golf is a sport suitable for masses, according to experts, and considered among the ten most popular sports worldwide. However, this is not the case in Slovakia. Golf courses have been popping up throughout the country in recent years but players have not. There are less than 8,000 registered golfers in the Slovakia. In contrast, there are more than 50,000 in the Czech Republic.

It is not a cheap sport

Golf is said to be the sport of rich entrepreneurs but resort owners say otherwise. According to them, golf is played by pensioners and families with children, too. But it is not a cheap sport due to the price of equipment and membership fees.

In golf, a player must first invest in a so-called green card, which is a kind of driving license that allows the golfer to enter the course. A 10-hour training costs €250 to €300, and the test costs €66. People can play without the green card, but only on practice ranges.

Then there is a one-year registration fee, which can cost dozens of euros. For example, the annual fee in the Black River gold resort in Bernolákovo is €72.

For someone who plays often, it is more profitable to become a golf club member as the further fees for playing are reduced. Normally, a membership fee in a club is several hundred euros a year, and with more expensive resorts, it may amount to more than €1,000.

In the golf resort in Bernolákovo, a common person (non-member) pays €25, while a club member gets a 20-percent discount.

Playing for time Investments in millions Model of financing Golf tourism

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