Tony Judge of Clubstohire.com Photo by Daragh McDonagh
One of the first things to welcome golfers arriving at Faro airport is the international Clubs to Hire (CTH) shop. Now firmly established in the Algarve, CTH has contributed to the region’s prominence as a prestigious international golfing location although company co-founder, Tony Judge (pictured), has cautioned against complacency: “The industry needs to be very careful, as some (alternative) venues are pricing their product increasingly aggressively and it is actually pushing business away to more cost-effective locations. Certain locations need to be careful not to kill the golden goose, as they could very quickly see golfers’ habits change as they seek out better value and experiences elsewhere. Our year-on-year business at Faro – our busiest outlet – is still growing but not to the same degree.”
UK golfers provide the largest sector of CTH customers, followed by Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands. The Faro airport shop handles around 25,000 rentals per year and the Algarve is continuing to build from its current position of strength and attract golfers of all levels to the region. Clubs to Hire handles more than 300,000 annual visits to its website and over 80,000 bookings for rental clubs at 26 locations worldwide, including Faro and Lisbon. Golfers may pre-select clubs on line and collect a putter of choice on arrival.
Although other golfing destinations are experiencing a recovery in golf tourism, the Algarve is maintaining its position as a leading location for the sport. However, it’s important to listen to prominent figures such as Tony Judge, and ensure that the region does not rest on its laurels. Sensible pricing on top courses has been the area’s successful formula for consistently providing quality golfing experiences. In what is great news for golfers, the Algarve’s winning approach is set to be maintained as it benefits from the experience, encouragement and support from leading industry figures like Tony Judge.