The Pellucid Perspective - December 2015 - (Page 7)

golf year in review Naughty and nice - Best wishes for the New Year By Stuart lindsay i t's hard to believe we already burned through another year. It's also the time when Jim Koppenhaver and I start preparing for our State of the Industry presentation at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando. A look back at 2015 is an interesting mix of the naughty and the nice. I know it's out of character, but I'll start with the nice. Rounds are going to be up for the year. Even though Golf Datatech and PGA PerformanceTrak can't agree on the magnitude, record decent weather in November across much of the northern US virtually guarantees rounds will be up. The increases are marginal and will be weather driven, but it's the first increase since 2012. Even though we lost golfers again, frequency for the remaining golfers continues to increase and this year more than offset the loss for the first time in a long time. When it comes to being naughty, the 3rd party marketing "partners" continued to find new ways to skirt their own rules with fictitious "bait and switch" tee times, substituting regular open tee times for their assigned barter times and causing double bookings with creative tee sheet spacing. Also, in the spirit of assisting golf courses pursue price integrity and course loyalty, they were sending helpful messages to the large number of golfers they claim use their services: Find a new course to play for less We Can't Stop Slicing... Prices 63% Off Madison Area Golf 20% Off DEAL Times Today Only We wonder how 20% off deal times affects the "floor prices" set as part of their agreements with their golf course "partners." Further, when we see, hear or read complaints about these "less than best practices," it's very apparent that the golf courses are getting stuck solving the problems with cancellation booking fees, incorrect pricing and squeezing golfers into non-existent spaces. Back on the nice side of the ledger, Club Prophet Systems put their money where their mouth is and did two things - they cut off their API link to GolfNow (in part because of some of the above) and started offering alternative credit card processing options after one of their processing partners overbilled some of their users. Both of these decisions cost them revenue they received from those companies, but they felt it was the right thing to do. Club Prophet may not need our best wishes for 2016 - we understand that their install backlog is the highest it's ever been. We've got to put a little coal in the USGA's stocking for being able to top last year's anchored putting ban with the elimination of solitary rounds being used for handicap calculations. I i know it's out of character, but i'll start with the nice. rounds are going to be up for the year. understand the intent and have experienced sandbagging on a few occasions, but the handicap system is really amazing in divining the vast majority of our relative abilities. Over the course of 2015, I probably had a combined total of over 200 matches (only $2-$4-$4 Nassaus) and I'll bet 90% of them had relatively meaningful amounts riding on the 18th hole. My bigger concern is that handicaps become less relevant as subscription rates continue the 30%+ decline in the US over the last decade. Stroke play dominates the airwaves, and the awareness of match play continues the erosion that started when TV figured out that stroke play was far more broadcast and ratings friendly. While handicaps are used in some stroke play events in a "net" context, they were actually designed for full utilization in match play to allow golfers of varying abilities to compete on what is an uncannily equitable basis. I understand the desire to root out sandbagging, but this solitary rule is ridiculous and won't do much to solve the problem. I wouldn't play with a member at my club who had played 50 rounds alone and taken a bunch of lessons until he posted 20 rounds played with other humans, if he/she could find any to play with. Even that doesn't solve the fact that I can't avoid playing that golfer if he's a member at another club and I draw him as The Pellucid PersPecTive 7

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Pellucid Perspective - December 2015

Winds of change blowing at NGCOA?
The one that no one saw coming: The GPAPA
Naughty and nice – Best wishes for the New Year
CaddieMaster joins the Troon family
November golf weather impact: Off the Charts! Better East than West
Columbus, OH: Fiesta for OSU football, golf not so much
Single? No posting allowed

The Pellucid Perspective - December 2015