The Pellucid Perspective - December 2013 - (Page 2)

GOLF COURSE MARKETING Back to the future for golf course owners Some tech-speak knowledge critical for business survival today By Stuart Lindsay Y ou have to sympathize with CEO Mike Hughes and of the questions posed to me was "How can Sweden support Deputy CEO Mike Tinkey at the NGCOA. It's really 600 golf courses?" Knowing that a lot of Swedes immigrated frustrating to spend countless hours researching and to Minnesota and that Minnesota has traditionally had one of establishing "best practices" only to have many of the people the highest percentages of golf participation of any state in the you try to educate go ahead and make bad choices anyway. The US, I naturally wondered if there was some correlation. Even ultimate irony is that those who try to adopt good technology though a politically incorrect conclusion based on the current solutions from developers that follow "best practices" end up major imbalance in the gender and racial makeup of the golfgetting caught in the crossfire of dueling bad choices out in the ers in the US might support a hypothesis that being blond and marketplace. As Steve McQueen said to Yul Brynner in The blue-eyed is conducive to golf participation, it turns out that Magnificent Seven - I just want you to know you aren't the only golf participation may be more about latitude than attitude. suckers in town. A closer investigation confirms a big time relationship that In a November letter, Mike Hughes called for the forma- indicates longer playable days during peak golf season results in tion of a task force to study how best to combat the impact of higher golf participation. Not only does Minnesota have a par"barter"-based technology solutions. This is undoubtedly a nec- ticipation rate almost 3 times as great as Mississippi, but Canada essary response to ListServ comments that has a participation rate that is more than douhave essentially begged the NGCOA to be ble that of the US. As for Sweden, they don't Not only does more involved in advising what golf course refer to Scandinavia as the land of the midMinnesota have a owners should be doing in terms of selectnight sun for nothing. Never mind that they ing technology "partners." Some readers of could call it the land of the noon day moon participation rate that letter might even interpret that Hughes' during a couple of non-golf season months. almost 3 times as comment regarding "competition" implied Having more recreational daylight availthat the NGCOA may be willing to throw great as Mississippi, able after work hours helps explain why golf down its own gauntlet regarding GolfNow leagues are more prevalent in the northern but Canada has a and other barter solutions. As he points out, latitude areas of the US. We might also add however, this is a difficult and complicated participation rate that that it supports our opinion that "league" set of analyses, and anybody who is expectgolf is one of the most important tools in is more than double getting golfers to both play more regularly ing the NGCOA to ride in on a white horse with a single silver bullet is likely going to and stay loyal to a particular course. Many that of the US. end up as disappointed as Alexander Hamilof our successful clients are those that have a ton on the bluffs of Weehawken. well-developed league program. In a seemingly unrelated series of NoIn the end, successful golf course operavember events, there was apparently some sort of duel between tion is all about maximizing the value of your recreational daysome of the leaders at the USGA. In reading Goeff Shackl- light. In an era of declining participation, this not only means eford's recap of the situation, the decision to award the new US robbing the bank of customers at competitive courses, but also Open TV rights to Fox Sports was akin to Hamilton casting a communicating with your existing customers so they don't take deciding vote in favor of Thomas Jefferson, who he didn't like, their deposits elsewhere. GolfNow and other barter providover Aaron Burr, who he despised. It appears that a simmering ers may help with robbing the bank, but they also encourage feud between Executive Director Mike Davis and his allies on their customers to take their deposits elsewhere. The NGCOA the Executive Board and current President Glenn Nager ended understands this dichotomy and the reality that GolfNow and with Nager's future on the USGA Nominating Committee and parent Golf Channel are golfer-centric by both definition and other perks usually accorded to Past Presidents being mortally necessity. The interests of golfers and the needs of golf course wounded. owners are not necessarily the same. To avoid becoming (or staying) innocent bystanders, golf Latitude trumps attitude course operators will have to be much more proactive in terms As if November wasn't interesting enough, I had an informa- of identifying and keeping customers - that means communicative debrief on the events at the European Golf Course Owners tion based on the latest technology and the new age of integratmeeting in Lisbon, where Dr. Nile Hatch and his innovative ing mobile and cloud based analytics that are increasingly availQuantival dynamic pricing system were very well received. One able. Again golf course operators will be faced with additional 2 The Pellucid PersPecTive December 2013

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

The Pellucid Perspective - December 2013
Back to the future for golf course owners
Winds of change blowing in tee time sales world
An “Island” of creative thinking in player development
Europe follows US lead
November golf weather impact: Mother Nature gives golf the “cold shoulder”
Boston, MA: Red Sox nation plays golf too
OB Sports chosen to operate Tucson muni courses
Too tough to chew

The Pellucid Perspective - December 2013