The Pellucid Perspective - August 2013 - (Page 8)

NEW REVENUE STREAM Snowboarding is to skiing as ??? is to golf By Harvey Silverman R emember those annoying analogy questions used in standardized tests like the SAT? I used to tutor SAT students and found that segment of the test the most difficult to teach and train students to answer well. But using the analogy in the headline is appropriate for this article. With all due respect to the USGA, R&A, and golf traditionalists around the world, the answer to the headline question is ... Footgolf. And if you think this article is a parody or so whacked out it’s not worth the time reading, consider this first before you turn the page: One revered golf facility that introduced Footgolf on July 14 sold over 300 Footgolf rounds by the end of the month, for $15 each, and total revenue of nearly $5000. So go ahead and take your hickory shaft clubs and gutta percha balls, and be on your way. Or read on about something that just might make your monthly bottom line much more enjoyable reading. Footgolf started in the Netherlands (maybe traditionalists there play with wooden shoes), and has spread to 17 countries around the world. Here in the U.S. there is the American Footgolf League (AFGL), founded by Roberto and Laura Balistrini and affiliated with the Federation of International Footgolf (FIFG). Yes, there is an international federation. Did you know there are nearly as many soccer players, 24 million, as golfers in the U.S.? These aren’t all kids, which comprise maybe six million, either. The rest are adults of all ages who play casual, club, league, semi-pro and professional soccer, or played in high school or college and still have the skills and love of the game. Many have jobs with incomes with discretionary money to spend…do we have your attention yet? So what golf management company created a new revenue stream with Footgolf that generated nearly $5000 in revenue in its first two weeks? None other than the venerable Morton family of Morton Golf, at the equally venerable Haggin Oaks Golf Complex in Sacramento, CA. Haggin Oaks has hosted the likes of Snead, Hogan, Nelson, and Bing Crosby, Bob Hope…even Babe Ruth. Could it soon be hosting Pele, Ronaldo, Beckham, and Hamm (can’t leave out the ladies)? Mike Woods, PGA Director of Golf at Haggin Oaks, was effusive about why adding Footgolf at Haggin Oaks was a great idea, albeit implemented with lots of thought, consideration, planning and trepidation. “This is working out better than we imagined,” reported Woods. ”Our setup at Haggin Oaks is both unique and ideal. Our Arcade Creek course plays as two ninehole tracks, while the MacKenzie course plays as an 18-holer. Even though 45,000 rounds are played annually on each of the Arcade Creek nines, that still leaves lots of available capacity. We looked around and didn’t see a lot of new golfers coming to us, but we did see one of the largest soccer markets in the country.” Footgolf is played with rules similar to golf. In fact, U.S. Footgolf founder Roberto Balestrini is a golfer who attempts to make Footgolf as much like golf as real golf. Each hole has a par. Players kick from established tee boxes. The holes are 21 inches in diameter with a hole for a flagstick, and the greens are about seven yards in diameter and set beside the fairways in the rough. The greens are mowed every couple of days with a tee mower, adding very little maintenance cost. In fact, Woods estimates Haggin Oaks has invested only about $3500 in hard costs to put the Footgolf course in place. With help and guidance from the Balestrinis, Woods tested the concept with himself and other staff members who have played soccer, first with no one else around, and then mingled in with golfers. It worked, as two Footgolf holes were set up on each golf hole of one of the nines. Remarkably, Woods found that it takes as long to play two Footgolf holes as it does one golf hole. So now, Footgolfers make tee times just like golfers, and play along with (behind or in front of ) golfers. Woods or one of six trained staff members will play with people coming to play for the first time. They check to make sure soccer cleats are not worn, brief the players on golf etiquette and rules, and play along the first three holes as a playing lesson. Players can bring their own balls, or rent one at the golf shop. Haggin Oaks is charging the same fee as a ninehole weekday round, $15. Carts are available for another $8, and Woods is surprised how many people have chosen to ride. “Maybe it’s because there are two cup holders per player, so they can take more beer with them,” he laughed. Here is a link to the Haggin Oaks Footgolf web page: http://www.hagginoaks.com/ news/footgolf-makes-northern-california-debut-at-hagginoaks-golf-course/. Otto Kanny at River Ridge GC in Oxnard, CA was the first Did you know there are nearly as many soccer players, 24 million, as golfers in the U.S.? These aren’t all kids, which comprise maybe six million, either. The rest are adults of all ages who play casual, club, league, semi-pro and professional soccer, or played in high school or college and still have the skills and love of the game. 8 The Pellucid PersPecTive August 2013 http://www.hagginoaks.com/news/footgolf-makes-northern-california-debut-at-haggin-oaks-golf-course/ http://www.hagginoaks.com/news/footgolf-makes-northern-california-debut-at-haggin-oaks-golf-course/

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Pellucid Perspective - August 2013

The Pellucid Perspective - August 2013
Contents
Say good-bye to Ladies Day?
2013 mid-year review: Anyone get the license place of that truck?
The true cost of barter
Snowboarding is to skiing as ??? is to golf
New private club buyer/investor emerges
Skybrook Golf Club, Charlotte Golf Links owe millions, placed in receivership
July golf weather impact: Finally, a weather-favorable month vs. ’12
Finding golfers no circus act in Sarasota
Random shots

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