Number of Golf Courses in North Africa set to Double


As part of its third annual Golf Benchmark Survey, KPMG has published its first regional report for North Africa. While the region currently has only 43 courses in operation - predominantly in the tourist areas of Morocco, Egypt and Tunisia - there are currently 40-45 golf projects in different phases of planning or construction, many of which are parts of large master-planned resort communities.

The study, which focuses on the business performance of golf courses, also reveals that the average gross operating profit margin for 18-hole courses is 25 percent in North Africa, compared to 17 percent in South Africa.

However, with green fees making up more than 50 percent of earnings, average revenues at 18-hole courses in North Africa are 945,000, lagging behind other countries including Portugal (1.8 million), Spain (1.5 million) and South Africa (1 million).

The average weekend green fee for 18 holes in North Africa is 59, compared to 78 in Portugal, 66 in Spain and just 30 in South Africa.

Golf has developed and grown in North Africa in the past 10 years, largely in relation to travel and tourism. Egypt now has 14 courses, compared to just three over a decade ago. Morocco leads with the way with 18 courses and more than half of the region's 9,000 golfers, with Tunisia (10 courses) and Algeria (1 course) making up the remainder.

However, there are now between 40 and 45 new golf course projects in different stages of development, underway in North African countries, including Algeria, Libya and Sudan.

"This is an important report as this is the first time the North African golf market has been studied in such detail," said Andrea Sartori, head of KPMG's Golf Advisory Practice in EMA. "It is a region that, in golf business terms, has grown over the past decade and continues to develop with a significant number of projects underway.

"Our survey found that golf managers were optimistic about the future business prospects for their courses, although our analysis was conducted prior to the full scale unfolding of this autumn's global financial crisis. However, we believe the outlook for the North Africa region remains positive."

Other key findings in KPMG's study reveal that:

* The average number of rounds played on 18-hole golf courses in North Africa is 20,400.

* 89 percent of all rounds are green-fee rounds - only 11 percent are member rounds.

* Egypt has the most expensive 18-hole weekend green fees (66), followed by Tunisia (46) and Morocco (40).

* Golf participation rates among the local population remain very low, with approximately one golfer for every 10,000 inhabitants.

* The average number of members at clubs in North Africa is relatively low (236 members), but is highest in Morocco where the average is 425 members.

* The proportion of female (30 percent) and junior members (11 percent) at golf clubs in North Africa is higher than most European regions, although this can be partially explained by a significant number of male expatriate members being joined by their partners and family.

* North African courses operate relatively large cart fleets, with 40-50 golf carts on average, with rental fees of around 25 per round.

The 2008 Golf Benchmark Survey includes three new regional reports on China, South America and North Africa, plus a comparative report on Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Golf courses submitted key data from 2007 financial results to the overall Golf Benchmark Survey. The survey is designed to help golf course owners and operators compare their own business against high, average and low performers in their geographic markets.

The North Africa and China regional reports are now available to download free of charge at www.golfbenchmark.com.


CBS Sports Official Partner