At Your Club
…addressing concerns about your facility’s well-being.
How much should our golf course be spending on payroll?
The amount of your gross revenue will dictate what your facility can afford to pay in total annual payroll spending. Standard percentages will be somewhere between 28% and 52% of your annual gross revenue.
What are the best ways to curb expenses without impacting experience?
Analysis, data, and education. The management team at your club MUST begin with a deep dive into every single line item on the budget. Decision makers need to have intimate knowledge of where money is being spent.
We deploy a 4-Bid Procurement Process for all purchases above certain dollar amounts. The General Manager must recognize every vendor that has been included in the bidding process, approve and sign off on the winning bid with each Department Director.
A program of constant education must be in place for both associates and members alike, so that all can embrace the minimum 4-bid procurement process that our firm recommends. In this way, diligent attention to detail means drastically reduced expenses while preserving every bit of the customer experience.
How can we sell our golf course for maximum value if it’s losing money?
This is a very difficult task if you’re dealing with a golf savvy buyer. Your best bet may be an agenda buyer or a nostalgia buyer.
How can we prevent a golf course foreclosure?
If your club is facing potential foreclosure, we suggest opening up and being 100% honest with your lender. In many cases, lenders make the false assumption that golf courses are filled with smart, rich people and there’s no way it can fail. Because of this fallacy, lenders are often reluctant to restructure. Full disclosure helps lenders recognize the dire situation you are in. Your lender may then be open to discuss refinance, but typically with contingencies. They may require 3rd party management or outside audits. It pays to bring in a golf management company before these discussions take place.
What steps should we be taking before we sell our golf course?
3 Years ahead of time, if you have that luxury, you should make a strong effort to run your operation tight. Sharpen your pencil on the expense side, watch spending carefully, and grow top line revenues where possible. Also, you may need to work toward taking care of potential liabilities such as exiting member payback provisions in equity situations. The sale price of your facility will be an 8 to 11 multiple of your EBITDA (net operating income) average over this time period.
What are the recommended steps in due diligence when buying a golf course?
This step will make or break you. Turning over every possible stone will uncover potential pitfalls, hidden opportunities, and points of negotiation when it comes to the valuation of the asset. Our recommendation is to hire an experienced golf management and consulting company like KPI to assist. We understand all aspects of operating golf clubs, include exit strategies and transitional management practices to improve leverage in negotiations. Our due diligence checklist is extremely comprehensive and over 15 pages long. Even if you’ve purchased and sold golf courses before, there’s no reason to go it alone.
How much should our golf course be spending on agronomy & maintenance?
Before this question can be adequately answered, we would need to gather substantially more information about your operation. It’s important for you to know that golf course budgets range from $300,000 on the low end to upwards of several million dollars depending on a number of factors – mostly relating to expectations of your customer base.
What golf club operating metrics do club buyers value the most?
For clubs with positive cash flow, golf courses typically change hands at an 8 to 11 multiple of your EBITDA ( net operating income). If the property has been losing money for quite some time, the negotiated metric would be anywhere from .6 to 1.2 of the overall facility gross income to set the sale price. As in any other business valuation, the stability of the revenue stream is a major point of concern. For example, if food and beverage is a large part of the gross revenue, we’d push toward the lower end of the spectrum because revenue in this is traditionally not as dependable. On the other hand, if sound contractual agreements are in place with membership dues and golf fees making up the lion’s share of the revenue, we’d push for a higher valuation.
What options do we have if our club is operating in the red?
For starters, consider looking outside the walls of your club for help. Operating as-is clearly isn’t working – decision makers first need to recognize the issue and that there is indeed a cost of inaction. We recommend that you hire a qualified golf consulting firm to perform an operations audit and budget line item analysis. This first step almost always reveals some quick wins for the club to get them out of the hole. Later, if ongoing refinements in operations and strategic planning become necessary, consider a more comprehensive and aligned golf management agreement.
How do I learn more about what golf management companies have to offer?
Our website is full of valuable information, tools and case studies for you. Everything is organized according to your particular area of focus, your type of club, etc. From there, the best first step is to reach out and begin a conversation with us. There’s no hard sell because we’re assessing fit as well. Even if we can’t help you directly, we’ll do our best to offer resources or refer you to best fit solutions we can.
How can we improve our golf club’s profitability?
Start with a comprehensive profitability review and recommendations. There are always low hanging fruit that will represent quick wins to trim costs without sacrificing customer experience. This is a simple, proactive, and cost effective measure your club can deploy immediately.
How do I find golf courses for sale?
Just Google golf courses for sale, or visit websites like Loopnet.com. More than a dozen listing firms will pop up with numerous courses for sale. The bigger question is identifying and negotiating these transactions. Do you understand the metics of golf clubs and how they are valued? How reliable are existing revenue streams? Are there current operating deficiencies that might lead a particular club to be significantly undervalued? Are you equipped to do the necessary due diligence?
Should we remain a private club or transition to a public facility?
These types of questions need require highly intensive investigation and evaluation. There are far too many moving parts. The assistance of professional consulting and or management is absolutely required.
What are the best ways to increase member retention and referrals?
Attrition rates are most represented by two groups of members:
1) Senior members who are aging out, or generally resign because their golf game has deteriorated. They’re playing much less because they don’t enjoy the game anymore.
2) Members in all age groups who for one reason or another stop using the club.
The solution is simple. Get your seniors playing better. Personal invitations for free lessons from your pro go a long way here. Adjust course setup with tees from shorter yardages. For the second group get your GM and Department Directors on the phone personally inviting this group to club events to get re-engaged. Above and beyond personalized service earns you loyal customers and referral business.
How can we reduce or stop membership attrition? What attrition rates are normal?
Clubs will always have attrition because of death and relocation. This will always be a concern. The national average is 7-10% attrition annually. The best way to offset attrition is a great membership sales program like our 85/50 program.
How can golf courses most easily increase dollars per round?
The quickest win for increasing dollars per round is through cross selling and up selling. A 30 minute staff training meeting can have your team up and ready to appropriately suggest complementary purchases or added options at point of sale. It’s normally as simple as asking each player if they’d like range balls, do they need a glove, a sleeve of balls, or a six-pack of beer for the golf course. These practices can easily boost dollars per round by over 15%.
How profitable are typical country club food and beverage operations?
Most country club food and beverage operations lose money. Some of them lose substantial amounts of money. Even the best run facilities may be break-even it best. There’s often a lot of local competition, and if restaurant management and marketing are not core competencies, clubs are operating at a distinct disadvantage. Leasing out F&B or hiring a golf management company to take over are probably the best alternatives.
How do golf course leases work?
Golf Course leases come in many varieties. If you are in the market to lease your golf course, find a creative professional team that understands the golf industry to lease your facility. Leases have the advantage of assured cash flow without the hassles of handling operations. On the other hand, expertise is required to craft language that protects the interest of the club and ensures a fair deal. If you don’t hire us to handle your golf course leasing, by all means hire someone.
How do we know if our golf course is properly insured?
Risk management analysis is a long and tedious journey. You have to find four bid partners (insurance companies that want the business) to work with you night and day during the analysis and bid process. the Professional Knowledge of these companies and their attention to detail can make or break your business model if you have a catastrophe.
What steps can our golf course take to protect against frivolous lawsuits?
Frivolous lawsuits have been a part of the golf industry for a long time. The very best way to avoid them is to proactively protect your facility against them. This means a very well trained staff to be attentive at the first hint of any issue, then continuous and caring follow-up with the person or persons involved. Good insurance companies generally conduct a yearly review of any issues that might cause a lawsuit in the future. Be proactive and clean those issues up. They might recommend solutions like installing cameras in certain areas around your facility as well. Training your associates is top priority in this area. They’ll not only need to give care and follow up, but also make sure that you’ve got documentation of any incidents – photographs, key witness reports, and statements related to any event.
What options do we have for golf course or clubhouse renovations or redesigns?
Our firm has worked with numerous golf course and clubhouse architects from around the world. As per usual, we recommend multiple bids and conversations to gather input and evaluated every possible alternative. One of our principals has also designed and redesigned several courses personally.
How can our club boost revenues during the off season? Reduce Expenses?
Northern snow country courses really need to assimilate research data to see if adding additional services through the winter makes economic sense. We have done a number of these reviews and have found that in most cases, winter activity is not a money maker. Smaller clubs with limited food and beverage would be best served to shut the facility down, with the exception of a very small maintenance team to plow and maintain turf equipment. Private clubs with large F&B operations and food minimums may be one exception. Golf courses in southern states have a more difficult time in off season months. Activity is down, while maintenance expenses are typically higher. We handle these situations on a case by case basis, often tapping into creative solutions to market and promote the club.
What are our options for golf course consulting companies?
Our recommendation is to find a highly qualified golf course management and consulting company. Practice what we preach and invite several companies into the discussion to find the best fit. Professional firms are expert at managing the issues that are bogging down your course on a daily basis. You might also find consultants out there who don’t get involved in the day-to-day management of the club. I would avoid this option if I were a club owner as the devil’s in the details and in the nuanced refinements that only happen on the ground.
What tools are available for evaluating golf course financials?
Every business has a unique circumstance and set of financials. Golf is no different. The industry has its own set of metrics that require years of experience to fully understand. The nuances of financial evaluations can certainly be taught to others, but it’s generally not common knowledge around the Boardroom table.
How does our golf course performance metrics compare with industry standards?
Industry standards are considered a very general set of numbers. Golf course performance metrics can be segmented more intricately based on categories like geography, type of facility, gross revenues, etc. If you’ve made the decision to hire a golf management company to assist with your club, be sure to find one with the experience to match the situation of your club to the appropriate metrics. Numbers can be very misleading if handled incorrectly.
How can I find golf industry statistics to show our Board of Directors?
Reach out and let us know what’s on your mind. We can pull together market statistical data and product market reports and arm you with talking points for your next meeting.
What does golf course consulting cost?
Professional golf course consulting costs can be crazy. Our company charges a flat fee of $1,000 per day plus travel expenses and per diem food. One of our principals (not junior associates) will personally handle consulting duties at your club.
The Golf Management Business
…learn if outside help could be an option for you.
How can a golf management company help us turn our operation around?
Clubs are traditionally directed by a part-time Board consisting of 6 – 15 Members from different businesses and backgrounds. Each of these businesses or professions has its own language and cost structure. Golf Operations is no different in this way. It also has its own language and cost structure. Boards are also often faced with high turnover (annually), and inherent biases or personal agendas which may affect decision making. An objective and experienced 3rd party like a golf management company will have intimate knowledge of the industry, trends, and metrics required to optimize performance. Part-time participation is no match for this level of experience and data-driven decision making.
How do I know if we should hire a golf management company?
There are many golf metrics that our company would share with a potential client to assist their decision making process. Generally speaking if your club is losing money, churning through staff (especially general managers), and facilities are looking tired, it’s a good time to think about professional management.
What does golf management cost?
This question can be like asking what a house costs. The cost varies greatly. In fact, it should not be considered a “cost” at all, but an investment. There is no reason to pay a management company anything if you’re not going to see at least proportionate returns on that investment. KPI guarantees that your club will cover our fees through increased efficiencies or increased revenue, resulting in better overall financial performance.
What is the difference between golf consultants and golf management?
Consulting is a review with recommendations. Golf Management is a review along with execution.
Our club is facing challenges in many different departments. Will we have a single point of contact?
We can only speak for KPI, but as part of our management contract, are expert in all areas of club operations and strategic planning. While individuals have expertise in all areas like agronomy, food and beverage, marketing, operations, etc., KPI serves as a single point of contact for everything.
Is a golf management company worth the investment?
A professional golf management company is rarely not worth the investment. In our case, we guarantee that our results will more than offset your investment. In most cases, professional management will save you your fee many times over.
Will I lose my job if we hire a golf management company?
If your club has decided to hire a management company, the only employees that lose their job are those who do not embrace the change of course. Golf management is brought in because ownership or decision makers have determined that the current mode of operations is not producing the intended results. Without staff buy-in, the execution of revised plans and new initiatives becomes impossible – therefore requiring replacement of these team members.
What traits do the most successful golf management companies have?
The most successful golf management companies have visionary owners – without exception. This is because our business is based on producing genuine, tangible results for our clients. Failing this, any management company will fail.
Should I recommend a golf management company to ownership / Board of Directors?
If you believe the system is broken at your club, your club needs professional management help. Even if only on a consulting basis, objective 3rd party assistance can help to identify quick wins, prioritize highest impact solutions, and bring insight that hasn’t yet been considered. It’s never a bad thing to at least open a dialogue to assess fit.
What fee structures do golf management companies offer?
Management company fees come in all shapes and sizes. We don’t publish a menu of prices because each club is unique in the challenges they’re facing, and we choose to remain flexible in recommending solutions and fee structures. We need to learn more about your situation – usually beginning with some open dialogue followed by a site visit if warranted.
Can we hire a golf management company on contingency?
Golf management companies do not generally work on contingency; however, our company may consider it under the right circumstance.
How can I learn more about golf management services?
Research and due diligence on your part. Develop a list of qualified golf management companies to come to your facility and make a presentation directly to you. Golf Inc. Magazine and simple web searches are good ways to build a roster of candidates.
What are the pros and cons of each major golf management company?
There are generally two types of golf management companies. There are very large companies, and there are smaller boutique companies. Larger companies may have more reach and resources, but you’ll most likely be interacting with more junior business development professionals and other associates of the company. You’ll rarely, if ever meet with the principal owner. Boutique companies like KPI offers the advantage of almost always working directly with top leadership. Boutique shops normally have a great degree of flexibility in the deals they’re able to craft and contractual arrangements they’re able to pull of. Be sure that the company’s vision and skill sets are aligned with your facility.
How do I negotiate a contract with a golf management company?
There is no negotiating with most golf course management companies. They normally come with a set fee structure and generally a bunch of optional add-ons. KPI Golf is different. We have the flexibility to negotiate mutually advantageous fee structures that might be based on our performance. When we negotiate the contract with your club, it is always fully inclusive of all of our services.
How can I get pricing for golf course consulting services? Golf management?
Just call or email the companies that you might be interested in. Open a dialogue and discuss your circumstances. Good companies will suggest best fit alternatives in your best interest, not theirs. From our perspective, we work with underperforming clubs. If a club is not a good fit for us, we’re prepared to recommend alternative courses of action.
How can I be assured that a golf management company will benefit our golf course?
We can’t speak for all companies, but we guarantee that the benefits your club receives will more than offset our fees. There’s only upside.
What happens if a golf management company doesn’t perform?
Most companies lock you into expensive long-term contracts. If you’re unhappy with outcomes, you’re either stuck with the deal or hit with expensive buyout provisions. KPI offers a 90 day cancellation policy. We find that clubs who do not buy into the process will not see best returns anyway. Best for both side to offer a fair and reasonable way out.
What can our golf course do to prepare for a golf management company?
You can assist a golf management company greatly by preparing a five-year analysis of your year-end financial performance to budget. We would also love to see a detailed report of annual board approved CAPEX spending during this five-year window.
How can I protect my job when a golf management company takes over?
Embrace change. Become the go-to person related to club history, gathering data, and become a team player. Professional golf management companies are very astute at identifying truly quality associates. Top performers and lackluster performers are sure to get on the radar screen for very different reasons.
What is the typical golf course seeking golf management help?
The typical golf course seeking professional golf course management services is more times than not already deep in an operational and financial black hole. You can do your club and incredible service if you react earlier than that. Our best fit clients are clubs that have come to the self realization that they are underperforming, and that their current ways of doing business are going to get them to their goals. As a result, they buy into our involvement. There must be recognition that there is a cost of inaction, and therefore some change is necessary.
What are the key points of consideration in a golf management contract?
Key points are the length of term, what is included and excluded in the cost, exit provisions, and performance standards. All should be considered carefully before finalizing a contract.
How can we protect our golf course from bad golf management companies?
It’s important to realize that with many golf management companies you don’t lose control of your facility. You’ve just gained a very knowledgeable operational partner.
How long are typical golf management contracts?
Typical professional golf management company contracts range from 3 to 7 years. With KPI, we are willing to discuss all material points, including the length of term. As a smaller boutique firm, we bring greater flexibility in this area than most larger companies.
What do typical golf management contracts cost?
There is a wide range of cost differences between golf management companies. This range is generally between $50,000 annually and $350,000 annually. Many golf management companies charge you based on your gross revenue. KPI does not do that.
How can we cancel our consulting contract?
Many companies tie you into long term contracts. Our 90 day cancellation policy can be initiated with a simple phone call.
How quickly will a golf management company impact our operations?
We impact the facilities we work with immediately. There are always low hanging fruit in company financials, procurement, and general operations strategies. True returns are felt within just 30 – 60 days.
How will a golf management company impact the experience of our customers?
This is a complicated question with many different answers. Truthfully, we don’t know the specific tactics we’ll deploy until we arrive on property, conduct customer surveys and market research, dig into operations and financial statements. Our mission is to deliver immediate financial impact for the club while improving customer experience.
What economies of scale or buying power can a golf management company deliver?
Economy of scale and buying power is one of the primary benefits of a golf management company. We simply represent a large book of business than stand-along clubs do. As a result, we’re able to negotiate terms and pricing structures for key purchases that single facilities never could. It’s safe to say that typical returns run between $100,000 and $250,000 annually.
How will a golf management company benefit a public golf course?
Professional golf management stands to benefit any type of golf facility. It’s important to note that golf management core competencies cover a wide array that one may not expect: growth marketing, digital marketing, accounting, legal counseling, risk management, real estate, food & beverage, agronomy, and otherwise. Every situation is unique. Our goal is to deploy activities that will bring the highest impact to your facility – as you define it.
How do I know if it’s time to find a different golf management company?
This one is simple. If your management company isn’t performing, start conversations with other companies or explore your other options soonest.
Can a golf management company help me expand my golf course portfolio?
Absolutely, golf management companies are also experts at golf course purchase due diligence.
Can I hire a golf management company for multiple golf courses?
Yes, and our company will certainly negotiate a multi course discount.
How do I know I can trust a golf management company?
Speak with the people in person. Make sure that the people visiting your club are the same people that you’ll be working with. Do your due diligence and ask a lot of questions. Be sure that the company mission is aligned with the nature of your club and your goals. Lastly, negotiate protections against non-performance with exit clauses or buyout provisions in your agreement.
When is the best time to hire a golf management company?
The quicker you get to market with improvements, the better. Although there are quick wins to be had when a golf management company comes on board, most gains take time. There is planning, deployment, refinement before the ultimate rewards are achieved.
How can I compare golf management companies?
If you want hands on personal interaction with the company principals, go with a smaller boutique company. If you want to be part of a larger system of clubs and blanket marketing, choose a big management company.
About KPI Golf Management
…honest answers to core questions about our company specifically.
Why does KPI exist?
The golf industry is experiencing gentrification right now. The rich facilities are getting richer (and more expensive) while the affordable clubs are the ones going out of business. As a result, golf is becoming more expensive overall.
It’s a call to arms. Poorly run facilities cannot compete without engaging expert help, economies of scale, and modern data-driven management efficiency. Operating less than optimally means missing critical growth opportunities, diminishing market share, reduced valuation, or even the club’s demise.
KPI Golf exists to help mid-sized, underperforming clubs compete favorably.
Our aim is to improve finances & daily operations with quick wins, deploy metrics-based management strategies for continuous refinement, and leverage resources at scale necessary to stay in business long term.
Why do golf courses want to work with KPI?
Our clients enjoy working with us because we share their belief in the critical importance of success.
A healthy club means a health community, and better lives for those it touches. People enjoy being around others who are passionate and who share common beliefs.
In the golf business, we are hardwired to enjoy helping people.
We enjoy what we do because ultimately we are serving a greater good:
- Creating and saving jobs
- Building careers and lasting relationships
- Reinvigorating the centerpiece of local communities (the club)
- Preserving and restoring historic facilities
- Providing healthy social environments for children and families
- Benefitting local economies and property values
When country clubs prosper, the benefits are far reaching into local communities. When clubs struggle or go under, many more people feel the impact.
What value does KPI deliver specifically?
We help golf clubs operate sustainably and profitably, where otherwise they may fail.
What specific problems does KPI solve?
In a broad sense, most country club problems are related to the following:
- Financial responsibility (budgeting, buying, attention to detail)
- Customer experience (efficiencies at all touch points)
- Market positioning & value proposition (customer base and membership sales)
- Strategic planning & vision (long game)
- Company culture & leadership (core beliefs: empathy, objectivity, autonomy)
- Facilities (maintenance, renovations, function & form)
- Capital improvements (responsibility, analysis, ROI)
- Risk management (insurance, HR, policies, legal)
- Pricing and fee structures
- Use of technology & data
- General execution (quality standards on goods/services, everyday tasks & interactions)
What kind of golf course does KPI most prefer to work with?
We want to work with clubs that:
- Are faced with some sort of (usually financial) pain or challenge.
- Have a sense of urgency or recognize a significant cost of inaction (if they do nothing, they lose out).
This could mean that the club has been unable to unlock opportunities that they’ve observed in their marketplace. They see great opportunities for growth and added benefit that they haven’t been able to realize for whatever reason.
Alternatively, they may be fighting for their existence. The club may be losing members or market share, struggling with deferred maintenance, or had some sort of trigger event or negative economic impact.
Either way, we enjoy working with clubs in need of creative expert solutions, and risk losing outif they don’t get them.
What types of clubs have been most successful with KPI in the past?
We’ve made our biggest impact on clubs that have distinct pain points, challenges or untapped opportunities. We’re able to move the needle extraordinarily in these situations.
We are most excited to work with clubs who recognize that true expertise, creative thinking, and professional execution can bring about huge changes in the health of the club.
Without a growth mindset, a significant cost of inaction, or at least a sense that the club has been operating less than optimally, club leadership is far less likely to buy into new processes, ideas and strategies.
Clubs that are indifferent about hiring a golf management company, just riding on cruise control, or otherwise “content” are not as desirable for us.
What types of facilities or market segments does KPI know best?
We represent clubs of all different types (public, private, resort, municipal) and organizational structures (privately owned, member owned, corporate, municipal, multi-property portfolios).
We’re also well versed in all types of amenities (F&B, swimming, tennis, fitness, boating, etc.).
We prefer to work most with underperforming clubs – either fighting for their life, or seeking specific growth opportunities that they haven’t been able to realize.
Our ideal market is in smaller to mid-sized operations in a top line revenue range of $1M – $10M.
We find that larger clubs and higher end facilities tend to be less agile in decision making.
Mid-sized clubs that serve as a vital component in their local community are much more eager take measures to improve, and we all have direct incentive to make high-impact changes.
What type of client does KPI most enjoy working with?
We look for 3 things in an ideal client: Buy In, Transparency, and Cost of Inaction.
- “Buy in”: Grease on the skids of execution. Our best clients are those who recognize an opportunity or upside that they haven’t been able to tap into. They are excited about growth potential and have a distinct vision of how great things will be when they are finally able to realize these goals. In turn, these clients also understand that for whatever reason, they haven’t been able to reach their goals with existing methods and resources. They have come to the self realization that they need help…and they are excited about the possibilities before them. Once the club has “bought into” the idea that they could use some help, the execution of any game plan becomes much easier.
- Transparent Communication. We very much enjoy helping golf clubs succeed and witnessing the impact on local communities. We enjoy helping good quality people succeed as well. Recognizing that our performance will (and should) be held to an extremely high standard, our clients must be open to complete transparency in communications for best results. This requirement is indeed reciprocal. Our best clients become very close relationships – the lines of communication are wide open. Many issues are nuanced and highly complex requiring a great amount of insight and detail for total understanding. The more we come to learn about a club, and all the people involved, the better our recommendations become. Without good information, we’re resigned to making educated guesses.
- Cost of inaction. Ideal clients typically have some sense of urgency – whether they’re fighting for their life as a business, or they see opportunity that they haven’t been able to realize. Whatever it is, “business as usual” or maintaining the status quo means missing out in some way. When there is an understood cost of inaction, we’re all motivated to bring strategies to market quickly and drive returns soonest.
What kind of client does KPI NOT want to work with?
If clients don’t want our help, then we don’t want to give it to them. We’re not in the business of selling the unsellable or hard selling anyone into hiring a golf management company.
Undesirable clients have not bought into our involvement, are guarded in their communications, and do not have any sense of urgency or remain indifferent about changing course.
It’s a matter of self awareness. If nobody in the room realizes that the current course is failing, then there’s no place for us. It’s that simple.
What are the philosophies and methods KPI follows to service clients?
We believe that optimal performance comes through data-driven optimizations.
Traditional “set and forget” strategies can never ascend to the level of performance of a properly managed club. Continuous attention to detail and refinement is where peak performance is achieved.
Data enables us to definitively prioritize highest impact activities, find opportunities, achieve buy in for execution, track performance, review results, and repeat.
Alternatively, subjective decision-making processes based on opinion or conjecture leaves businesses vulnerable to biases, personal agendas, misconceptions and critical mistakes that will negatively impact the facility.
The only way to operate optimally and compete in a dynamic marketplace is to quantify what’s working, what isn’t working, and prioritize the allocation of resources continually.
In terms of execution, we believe in freedom coupled with accountability. We hire good people, arm them with what they need to succeed, and then give them the necessary freedom they require to perform at their best.
As a company, we will (and must) ultimately be held accountable for the performance of the clubs that we work with. We need to have skin in the game for our objectives to be truly aligned – but pursuit of fairness is critical.
Whether with your own staff, or with a golf management company itself, accountability cannot be fairly deployed without also granting the freedom to act. We expect our clients to provide us with appropriate freedom to act, properly grounded with well defined accountability for our performance.
Is there a unique way of thinking or any special work process?
On a macro scale, the process that we use in choosing our clients, evaluating opportunities, communicating with transparency, executing, and accountability are exactly the same processes we bring to a department or even personal scale (micro).
We believe the following steps help us achieve optimal results for our clients:
- Buy In – It starts with everyone coming to agreement that current practices are not optimal and that improvements are necessary for us to achieve stated goals. Without buy-in, poor execution is sure to sabotage the effectiveness of any long term solutions.
- Transparent Communication – Brainstorming and detailed discussions are critical if we are to evaluate every possible alternative. Best results are achieved with open discourse and everyone remains open to all possible ideas and alternatives. Strong communication leads to trust and sharing of all relevant facts required for sound decision making.
- Prioritize Needs – Highest impact activities are always addressed first. We use real life data to determine highest impact areas and allocation of resources – needs before wants. High priority needs normally carry a significant cost of inaction and reduced returns for sluggish action, whether it’s potential downside risk or lost opportunity.
- Set SMART Goals – What is the definition of success? Objectives need to be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time sensitive. Establish Key Performance Indicators (KPI) for each initiative.
- Execute – Deploy necessary measures to reach our intended goals..
- Measure – Track progress through stated KPI, surveys, and customer feedback. Listen to the community and learn whether solutions are proving effective or not. Evaluate any side effects or newly exposed opportunities.
- Review, Plan & Repeat – On a regular cadence, report on results, evaluate performance vs. established goals and benchmarks, and refine solutions as needed.
What is the one thing you wouldn’t change about your company?
Our culture and belief system is non-negotiable. Freedom and accountability is the cornerstone of everything we do. We hire the best people, arm them and trust them to do great work.
Working with clients who reciprocate this belief system leads to best possible results and long lasting mutual benefits.
Micro management paralyzes corporations, silences good ideas, slows execution, and just pisses people off.
The calculated freedom to execute on our proven methodology is critical to success. Our model of data-driven decision making ensures we’re leaning on objective & factual data rather than conjecture or opinion to inform recommended courses of action. We seamlessly achieve buy-in with the team, measure progress, and continually refine for improvement.
Antiquated or self-serving decision making endangers many organizations, and it’s a breeding ground for catastrophic mistakes, complacency, misinformation, and less than optimal results.
Will you say NO to a prospective client because of your values and culture?
Our reputation as a company far supersedes the need for any short term gains.
Much of this reputation depends on the results that we deliver for our clients. We have identified several red flags as we assess fit, and will not to engage with certain clients we feel will stand to put our reputation at risk.
The fact is we are better served not engaging prospects who:
- Has not bought into the idea that they need our assistance
- Are not professional, courteous or is just a lousy group of people we don’t want to work with
- Has no sense of urgency, some sort of cost of inaction, or is completely content with their current course
We will say NO to a prospect under circumstances we believe is a threat to our company’s good name. In the end, the client will hold us responsible for the results that we achieve. Success requires active participation from all sides.
Regardless of role, what does it take for someone to succeed at your company?
Given the autonomy that we afford our team members, success within our company depends on 4 key factors:
- Competence – Having the necessary core skill sets to perform the job.
- Attitude – We hire positive and likeable people. Positivity is reflected in a willingness to learn and in interactions with others. Of course, nobody is perfect and nobody knows everything. A positive attitude is the foundation for continuous learning and long term success.
- Initiative – Autonomy means there’s nobody telling you what to do. Successful team members act sensibly and solve problems quickly before they become significant issues (or before they happen at all). Those with initiative come up with creative ideas for the benefit of everyone around them. Progressive, proactive thinking is a valuable asset well rewarded in our organization.
- Integrity – Successful team members do what they say they’re going to do. They are reliable, honest, and generally good people. Teamwork hinges on others to knowing that you’ll deliver on your word.
What goods and services do you offer and what are you expert in?
At the core, our expertise is in prioritizing high-impact solutions to deploy.
We offer expert individual solutions for golf clubs, but the true art is in the aggregate (think orchestra vs. single instrument). No two clubs are the same. Tactics vary greatly from club to club depending on an intensive analysis of the club’s overall ecosystem, goals, plans, challenges, and timelines.
Here is an incomplete list:
- Club Operations
- Food & Beverage
- Membership Sales & Marketing
- Daily Fee Sales & Marketing
- Human Resources
- Finance & Accounting
- Design & Development
- Risk Management
- Information Technology
- Acquisitions & Real Estate
- Lender Transitional Management Services
What do you do better than your competition?
We communicate and investigate intensively before any commitments are made by either party. There’s a critical importance for all parties to assess fit, and we only take on projects that stand to benefit all sides.
You see, we’re not in golf course management to pad our portfolio with high end properties or chase quick wins for shareholders.
We act in the sole best interest of our clients – ALWAYS.
Because of this policy, we only work with clubs who first want to work with us, and which recognize there is measurable and achievable benefit to be gained.
The personal relationships we have with our clients run deep. This is the only way to truly understand all the nuances in the entire ecosystem, and ultimately to empathize. This business is not about quick wins and making money. It’s about improving communities and the lives of the people living in them.
Which goods or services provide the most value to your clients?
Expense Side Quick Wins
For most clubs, we are able to provide the most value in the short term (2-12 months) on the expense side. An intensive analysis of financial statements on a line item by line item basis always yields startling results. Often, complacency or mismanagement leaves many financial details unchecked for long periods of time.
Execution in Daily Operations
In the longer term (12+ months), our value proposition typically shifts toward accountability and consistency of execution.
After the low hanging fruit have been resolved, it’s a matter of continuous and diligent oversight with properly trained and appropriate staff. Many new initiatives require time to achieve returns on investment, and left unattended, focus often tends to waver over time. Attention to detail and holding everyone accountable continually is the best way to avoid reverting back to where things began.
If you could only provide one good/service, what would it be?
Here’s where the quick wins are found. A thorough review of club financials, particularly spending, ALWAYS reveals areas to save a lot of money. Over time, with natural turnover of staff and board members, buying processes and acute details of a club’s expenses will fall out of line.
Within 1 month of a financial audit, nearly every club can save 6-figures. This is a great way for us to demonstrate our ability to provide value, and earns us the trust needed to begin advising for the longer term.
What would your top clients miss the most if your company went away?
Well, recent years have been about as good as it gets in the golf industry. If clubs haven’t made headway in that time, then they’re not likely to do so in the future without changing course.
If KPI went away, our clients would miss out on opportunity.
- Opportunity to strategically maneuver and take advantage of targeted chances for growth.
- The opportunity to deliver a consistent product that sustainably benefits local communities.
- For some, the opportunity to stay in business.