Golf Management Monthly: October 2015


Dear Friends,

Though Jordan Spieth’s win at East Lake Golf Club capped an exciting year for the PGA TOUR, the golf season is far from over.  Players are keen to get in their last licks before snowfall.

Billy Casper Golf (BCG) is priming the pump to attract hordes of golfers for late autumn and winter rounds.  Populating tee sheets and lining up highly qualified member prospects is an art and science at which our firm is adept.  Kindly contact us for more insights.

News and notes from BCG, one of the largest owner-operators of golf courses, country clubs and resorts in America:

Club Scene

With BCG Private, our comprehensive management platform tailored to the unique demands of country clubs and their members, we are fully committed to this market segment.

Led by industry veteran Frank Denniston, the BCG Private team develops winning strategies for high-end member-equity, residential-inclusive, resort and other types of clubs.  They include increasing membership sales, amenity usage and overall fiscal well-being.

The Meadows Country Club in Sarasota, FL, recently selected BCG Private to oversee its three golf courses, award-winning tennis program, state-of-the-art fitness center, swim facility and restaurants.

International Growth

In less than 300 days, golf returns to the Olympics for the first time in 112 years.  One-hundred twenty players representing 30 countries on five continents will compete.  The Games will add to golf’s already strong global appeal.  Per a recent study by the Royal & Ancient, there are:

  • 34,011 golf facilities in 206 countries
  • 696 golf courses in 108 countries are currently under development (30% in Asia)
  • 24,116 golf courses open to the public making the game highly accessible
  • More courses opening (460) than closing (358) around the world since 2010

Record Breaker

The fifth annual World’s Largest Golf Outing on Monday, August 3 saw more than 12,350 golfers, including 567 injured service members, tee it up at 132 courses in 28 states to raise a record $1,024,287 for Wounded Warrior Project.

Since its inception in 2011, the highly emotional event has donated more than $3 million to WWP.  National celebrities and even U.S. Presidents have helped WLGO positively impact the lives of veterans, their families and caregivers.  Moreover, Troon, ClubCorp and Toll Golf joined forces with BCG, the event’s founder, in this biggest one-day celebration of golf.

Golf’s Roar

While Tiger Woods searches for his golf swing, he hasn’t lost appeal.

The 2015 Wyndham Championship recorded a 3.9 rating, the highest for a non-major tournament since the 2013 PLAYERS Championship (that Woods won).  More people watched the third round than Saturday telecasts of the PGA Championship, British Open and past three U.S. Opens. 

Golf continues to be one of America’s most popular sports and its best players remain tremendously marketable.  With speculation that Spieth might out-earn Woods over his career, the future of golf’s $69 billion annual economy is as bright as ever.

Perfect Storm

Here’s to the golf industry benefitting from several key indicators:

  • Despite turbulent global financial markets, a 3.6% rise in consumer spending prompted the U.S. economy to grow by 3.9% headed into Q4.  A 9.3% increase in residential building contributed heavily.
  • Buoyed by an 8.5 to 9% increase in online shopping this year, economists predict a 5.2% rise in sales during the holiday season.  Revenue upticks will come from less profit-eating promotions as the economy – and, thus, consumer confidence – has decidedly improved.
  • More than 85% of Americans are confident they’ll partake in more leisure travel over the next five years.  Moreover, 76% note the success or failure of trips depends on the personalized services offered, and 63% want travel brands to provide custom services based on their personal data.

Power Player

BCG Chairman and CEO Peter Hill recently ranked No. 6 on Golf Inc. magazine’s “Most Powerful People in Golf” list, his 11th consecutive year in the top 10.  He joins Jack Nicklaus, PGA TOUR commissioner Tim Finchem, stars Spieth and Rory McIlroy, and Golf Channel President Mike McCarley among the game’s foremost influencers.  Under Hill’s direction, BCG boasts a database that touches one in eight public golfers and several innovative grow-the-game programs, including:

  • FootGolf – The widely-popular, golf-soccer hybrid installed at dozens of BCG courses is drawing new demographics and producing meaningful, incremental income for owners
  • GolfBoard – Backed by a safety-first mantra, young Americans and golf purists are flocking to courses to ride these durable, surf-inspired, motorized golf vehicles
  • Big Cups – Cut into greens alongside traditional holes, these eight- or 15-inch cups make the game more approachable while speeding play and increasing enjoyment
  • Kids Play Free – Perfect for families with aspiring young golfers, the next generation can tee it up with our compliments when accompanied by a paying adult

Fun Fact

Spieth wasn’t the only one smiling when voted “2015 Player of the Year” by his peers.  His caddie, Michael Greller, earned an estimated $2 million that would have placed him 39th on the PGA TOUR money list, one spot ahead of Phil Mickelson.  This puts a whole new spin on “reading the greens.”

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