PGA Captain – Gary Chambers – voices concerns about discounted green fee schemes

2016 PGA in Ireland Captain, Gary Chambers

2016 PGA in Ireland Captain, Gary Chambers

PGA in Ireland 2016 captain, Gary Chambers, has urged clubs to end the practice of buying into third party discounted green fee schemes.
“It is detrimental to every club in the country. It not only devalues the club, it also devalues the membership,” said the 48-year-old Killymoon GC professional.

“As professionals we often hear frustrated members who pay large fees upfront but then see heavily discounted green fees available. I really think the sooner we can get out of these schemes and put a proper value on ourselves the better.”

Born and raised in Moygashel, near Dungannon, Chambers is optimistic about the future and confident that professionals and clubs will adapt to changes in the industry.
“I think the same number of people are playing that have always played the game but the format has changed. A lot of players have given up membership and joined societies,” added Gary.
“The golf landscape is certainly in a better state than it was four or five years ago and I do believe it is improving.
“For example, just look at changes in the shop business. With custom fitting there is not the same need to stock lots of hardware. People don’t buy hardware off the rack any more, everyone wants to get fitted. I think it is a very good thing. The equipment suits the customer better and professionals do not have to outlay thousands of pounds for stock.
“I’m hopeful that we are approaching a new era that will see the golf business healthy and flourishing.
Chambers played his amateur golf at Dungannon GC and became a PGA assistant in 1990 under Barry Hamill at Killymoon GC. In 1992 he moved to Dundalk GC and finished his training with the late Jimmy Cassidy. In July 1995 he was appointed as professional at Killymoon, a post he has held for over 20 years.
“For seven or eight years I played regularly on the tournament scene and really enjoyed it. I was not a prolific winner, but I did win the Fota Island Pro-Am, shooting a 67 and I also won the Elm Park Pro-Am,” he said.
“I was over the moon to be appointed 2016 Captain. I never thought it would come my way and I’m honoured and humbled at the same time.
“I intend to get out and about this year and I’m looking forward to meeting up with professionals all over Ireland. I have committed to playing in 36 events. It would be a few more but I am taking the chance to attend the Ryder Cup in Hazeltine.
“It is noticeable that in the 20 years or so that I have been playing in Pro-Ams that the prize funds haven’t really gone up. However, it is great to see some signs of improvement this year with events at The Heritage and Delgany offering increased prize money.
“It is also very welcome to see a number of new venues coming on-board. Hopefully that is a sign that the economy is getting healthier and we will see increased prize funds.”


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One Response to “PGA Captain – Gary Chambers – voices concerns about discounted green fee schemes”

  1. Peter Brosnan Says:

    Hi Paul, very good article. I am interested in where do you get the quotes from Gary Chambers re discount green fees? I checked the Irish Golfer Magazine but couldn’t find it. I am currently doing research dissertation on pricing strategies in golf clubs including discount green fees so any help would be greatly appreciated

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