Golf Capital Improvements to Keep Pace
Without proper golf capital improvement planning and budgeting, roofs, tennis courts, and parking lots fall into disrepair. Deferred maintenance means the club will atrophy, unable to legitimately compete long term for net new business.
If you haven’t touched your lobby or the fitness room in 8 years, it’s probably looking pretty tired.
Managing capital improvement budgets helps clubs stay fresh, and attract new customers and members.
Financing Critical Projects
Of course finances are a big issue in planning capital improvement expenditures. We find that many clubs, although they claim to have a CapEx budget, have $0 balances in these accounts. Financing future capital improvements mean facing the uphill challenge of acquiring loans from banks, or pushing membership assessments or dues increases.
Over time, members who joined the club for a $600 monthly price tag originally find themselves paying over $1,000 for a fatigued product.
Continuing this way means that the club has effectively price themselves out of the market and cannot compete with other clubs.
Trends in Golf Course Redesign
Through the down turn in the market, new golf course builds had come to a virtual standstill. That said, golf course renovation projects have been on the rise. Upgrades to facilities, swimming pools, signage or entryways, and other customer touch point upgrades have been very popular.
Other creative strategies have involved golf course rerouting projects. These strategies attempt to minimize business interruption, while exposing new land to be sold or developed. For instance, turning a dogleg left into a dogleg right might expose real estate that could be sold and developed into homes. These projects can produce significant revenue for a club in dire need of some cash.
“At the end of the day, bringing empathetic experts into the room who are aligned with your mission, and experienced in conducting many similar projects at other country clubs will be your finest asset.”
Evaluating Golf Capital Improvement Options
Not all golf capital improvement projects are created equal.
In fact many solutions are ill-advised from a return on investment standpoint. How do clubs prioritize whether to renovate the swimming facility or enhance the grill room dining experience? The answer is in the data.
Comprehensive customer and membership marketing surveys are conducted to determine what elements of the club are most important to those actually using the facilities. Polling prospective members or those in the community would also be advisable.
Tap into historical, and aggregated regional and national performance metrics to determine average costs and expected returns help to objectively guide decision-making. Buying power through economies of scale and getting multiple bids from contractors ads leverage in negotiations. Legal document review ensures that all agreements are fair for the club and will not place an unnecessary future burden on the facility.
At the end of the day, bringing empathetic experts into the room who are aligned with your mission, and experienced in conducting many similar golf capital improvement projects will be your finest asset.