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Golf Management Monthly: April 2016

GMM April 2016

There are thousands of golf courses across America that could use a heavy dose of professionalism.  Their appearances are unrefined, staff is untrained and unmotivated, and overall best management practices are lacking.

It’s amazing how cost-efficient outside assistance from a specialist like Billy Casper Golf (BCG) can turn these negatives into business growth.  We’ve proven that smooth operations and sophisticated marketing often yield more than five times bottom-line growth within one year.

News and notes from our herd:

Ready, Set, Go

Attracting new audiences and reactivating latent golfers are critical to success.  It’s a main reason why BCG was recently selected to manage Lake Bluff Golf Club on Chicago’s scenic North Shore, White Deer Golf Complex in Montgomery, PA, and Centennial Park Golf Course in Munster, IN.  Our marketing power includes data collection, management and activation, promotional campaign development, graphic design and video production, regional sales outreach, dynamic tee-time pricing, public relations, digital advertising, social media and more.  Blend best-in-class agronomic, food-and-beverage, clubhouse operations and event programming, and watch our new friends and partners recapture the spotlight.

Going Green

Several markers to date in 2016 point to steady financial gains ahead:

  • Consumer spending increased .5%, the largest surge since last March
  • Retail sales were up .6% in January, rebounding from a December decline
  • Sales of existing homes rose .4%, reaching the highest level in six months

An American economy on firmer ground is encouraging news for golf course owners.  More money in wallets, including a large generation of golfers entering their prime earning years, has the industry jazzed.

Gold Stars

Two BCG-managed courses recently earned national acclaim:

  • Purgatory Golf Club (Noblesville, IN) – Named “Indiana Golf Course of the Year” by the National Golf Course Owners Association.  Besting 500 operations, the daily-fee club was praised for consistently delivering remarkable golf experiences, highly dedicated and impactful management, and contributions to more than 100 charities.
  • The Country Club of Brewton (Brewton, AL) – Ranked the No. 3 course in Alabama for 2015 by GolfAdvisor, the trusted source for hundreds of thousands of reviews and recommendations for golfers by golfers.  Measuring overall design, conditions, customer service and affordability, users awarded the municipal course an average of 4.7 (of five) stars, topping 300-plus eligible courses.

Hot Ticket

Golf’s appeal and economic significance were on full display at the PGA TOUR’s Waste Management Phoenix Open last month.  Not only did the event shatter attendance records, but its dramatic finish kept millions of viewers glued to TVs.

More than 160,000 fans young and old flocked to TPC Scottsdale on Friday, followed by 201,000 the following day.  In all, 618,000 people walked through tournament turnstiles.  That’s more than the Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Finals and Stanley Cup combined.

Millennial Madness

Accounting for roughly 25% of the U.S. population, millennials are an increasingly important demographic for course owners and operators.  BCG leads the charge in connecting with young golfers by delivering messages they want to consume in channels (like social media) they prefer. 

The 18- to 34-year-old set:

  • Represents 28% of America’s nearly 25 million golfers
  • Is forecast to increase rounds played by 10% in 2016
  • Spends roughly $5 billion on golf annually
  • Reports one in four golfers who pick up a club for the first time is “hooked”

Proficiencies

Skill, good judgment and polite behavior from team members who are properly trained to do their jobs well can significantly professionalize golf operations.