Country clubs face an ever-evolving landscape of challenges and opportunities in their pursuit of providing exceptional experiences to members and ensuring financial sustainability. One key area where country clubs can benefit significantly is golf course agronomy, which plays a pivotal role in member satisfaction and overall profitability.
Private golf clubs have long been a symbol of exclusivity and luxury in the world of golf. However, as we enter 2023, these once-thriving institutions are facing significant challenges. In this article, we will explore the top three reasons why private golf clubs are struggling in 2023 and what they can do to adapt and thrive in an evolving golf landscape.
So, lot’s of clubs can’t (or won’t) shell out 6-figures for a full service management contract – for good reason in many cases…
But in a lot of markets, it’s becoming harder and harder for stand-alone clubs to compete in terms of economies of scale and buying power…
So what can the “little guys” do to contain costs?
In today’s Golf Course Owner and Operator’s Forum, we’re discussing how to market your golf facility.
I’m leading a discussion on strategies that golf courses typically fail to consider. Golf is what we call a “Considered” buying process. The time it takes to usher someone along the customer lifecycle from stranger to loyal customer is often considerable – 2 to 6 months or more.
Data in the golf industry is completely fragmented. There are more than 20 major point of sale systems (think cash registers with accounting software)…and they don’t speak the same language.
There’s really no system of aggregating and using big customer data in the golf business…until now.
John Brown discusses the options that struggling and underperforming golf courses have. The first big misconception is that professional advice and exploratory conversations only come with hard sales pitches for club management contracts. This isn’t the case at all.
The logic first step to take is to pick up the phone and call a consulting or golf management company. KPI Golf offers free phone consultations, investing hours in learning about the club’s challenges and assessing best fit.
Country clubs bringing in outside management do so in one of two major ways:
1. They recognize they need help and expertise to help them move forward optimally.
2. A firm offers to inject some capital over time in exchange for ownership stake in the club (equity vs. non-equity). Read more
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Email me or hit me up through Twitter (@caseybourque) or social media and I’ll make sure I help you out. Look for live Q&A sessions and call-ins. Subscribe on your favorite podcast platform to get Golf Essentials every day.
John Brown, Sr. is back and ready to compete with his former company, Brown Golf Management.
His new company, KPI Golf Management, will seek third-party management contracts, consulting work and leasing, mostly with private clubs. Read more
Article published Dec. 11, 2018
by John A. Brown Jr. – Principal, KPI Golf Management | firstname.lastname@example.org
The economy has been frothy for a long time now. Baby Boomers are retiring and playing a ton of golf…but neither will last forever.
This article is aimed at helping golf courses in tight markets to win market share while you still can, offset your senior players as they begin aging out of the system, and survive the next wave of golf course closings.
Why Today’s “Land Grab” is Your Chance to Win in Tomorrow’s Economic Downturn
Facility: 18 Hole golf club with small clubhouse
Location: Resort area in the Southeastern United States
Ownership: Member owned
Focus: Growing revenues while trimming operating expenses
About: A small annual budget of $850,000, but a great public golf course with small food and beverage operation. A typical story after the market downturn – the club was originally built as part of a moderately priced housing development that had long since been sold out. This facility was losing money.
Facility: 18-hole championship course, fitness center, large pool complex, indoor and outdoor golf practice facilities, multiple restaurants with catering.
Location: Southwestern United States
Ownership: Formerly owned privately until membership group purchased the club in the mid-2000’s.
Focus: Cost Containment
About: This club was struggling to break even financially despite a rich history and strong local reputation. With so many amenities and club assets, there were a few major, and unique hurdles that we needed to overcome to be successful.
Facility: 18-Hole championship golf course, indoor and outdoor pools, indoor and outdoor tennis, large fitness center, and multiple dining and catering venues.
Location: Northern New England
Ownership: Formerly developer owned. Membership group bought golf course and facilities out of bankruptcy.
Focus: Pivoting club operations for a locally underserved private golf market
About: This was a developer owned private facility that went through bankruptcy. It has world class amenities and a great golf course designed by a famous architect. The current membership group bought the golf course and facilities out of bankruptcy.
Facility: Private Full Service Country Club on a Barrier Island
Location: Southeastern United States
Ownership: Member Owned
Focus: Financial Turnaround & Cost Containment
About: Club offers 18 holes of top-end golf, beaches, pools, tennis, fine and casual dining, property ownership, equestrian, and other amenities in a secluded private island environment. Despite a roster of over 900 club members, this facility was bleeding money. The annual operating budget of $20 million was sinking this extraordinary place slowly but surely.