Financial troubles hit Sweden’s golf clubs

Golf clubs in Sweden are facing tough economic times, with three clubs declaring bankruptcy in just the last few weeks.

Financial troubles hit Sweden's golf clubs

According to the Swedish Golf Federation (Svenska golfförbundet), around 50 clubs are facing financial hardship.

During the 1990s, golf course construction exploded in Sweden, as did golf club membership.

But something has happened in recent years, leading to several clubs filing for bankruptcy.

While many clubs find themselves struggling, several well-established clubs have been posting better results than ever.

Other clubs have been able to carve out unique niches, such as “mailbox clubs” which are often found out in the country far away from where its members actually live.

Such clubs rarely require an initiation fee and only charge annual membership dues of a few hundred kronor for the right to play on several different courses.

On the other end of the spectrum is the Bro Hof golf course north of Stockholm, where prospective members play 350,000 kronor ($50,000) for the right to hit the links.

Despite the bankruptcies and other financial difficulties, few courses are likely to be totally shut down.

“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,” said golf federation head Jan Ekblom to the TT news agency.