Golf Inc - Spring 2012 - (Page 22)
for stimulating and powering the golf industry into the future
From golf bars to 12-hole courses, we share some of the boldest, most innovative ideas that are designed to stimulate and empower the golf industry into the future
The golf industry thrived for years thanks to the combination of a strong economy, golfing stars, improved equipment and a growing pool of quality golf courses. The business of golf hummed along, with little need for operators to innovate in order to be successful. But the industry’s steady growth faltered in 2001 and came to a halt in 2008. Golf ’s “new normal,” to use a well-worn term, will require golf courses to innovate and execute at a higher level in order to thrive. The changes to our economy combined with changing demographics means that golf will never again look like 1964, or 1984 or even 2007. The good news is that innovation can turn any industry or business around. Just look at Apple. Once left for dead as a computer company, its innovative new
products and sales approach transformed it into the world’s most profitable business. Golf could use a similar resurgence. While any resurgence will require sustained excellence in execution, creative and innovative ideas can be the spark to get the fire roaring. We contacted 12 of the industry’s most forward-thinking visionaries and asked them to share their “big ideas” for propelling and driving economic growth into the future. Some of these individuals are the most original minds in the industry, including our regular contributors Jon Last and Jack Dillon. Some hail from the industry’s leading companies, including Troon, Toro, KemperSports and Nicklaus Design. Some are the industry’s most creative consultants, including Henry Delozier, Shannon Herschbach and Whitney Reid. And some have been ardent vocalists about the need for change, such as Jonathan Smith with GEO and John Crowder with ValleyCrest. We have compiled the best of their big ideas — some of which are radical, some innovative and some just worth repeating. Many are focused on player development, but others cover almost every aspect of the golf industry. Our goal was to choose the ideas that could help operators, owners and developers think differently. But the “big idea” is only the starting point. Change requires leaders to weigh the costs in time, energy and labor, and then take action on the best of the big ideas. As Jack Dillon, one of our visionaries, says, “Let’s do it together, create success and then share the best practices with everyone.” —Jack Crittenden
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