The Pellucid Perspective - May 2017 - 5

when you conduct different surveys and introduce all the vagaries
of that, you can get conflicting results. However, much like I've
said in the past with the Get Golf Ready programs which have
been producing these success figures that haven't been showing
up in participation growth, it either means that the results aren't
there or that all our new efforts are simply keeping up with a
larger opening at the bottom of the funnel. Which brings us back
to our initial question of whether TopGolf will save golf.
It's really a trick question with no simple answer. Will the
emergence and growth of TopGolf "save" golf? No, not likely.
I say that because it's not a natural "bridge" to traditional golf.
Yes, it makes it more fun which is one of our primary barriers to
growth but it doesn't change the difficulty of the sport when you
move from the entertainment complex to an actual golf course
and it doesn't change the economic equation on the affordability
barrier (I'd argue that it helps though because I found TopGolf to
be slightly more expensive than a round of golf and a meal when
I went there with my Millennial son). It can also give us a blueprint for what hospitality and customer service ought to be for
the on course experience and that's not a bad thing either. What's
missing here is that natural or industry-made "bridge" in getting
TopGolfers out to a course to try the traditional game.
As I pointed out in the last Outside the Ropes, we as an industry could better "draft" off the TopGolf phenomenon if we

DIS COV ER

could find some way to cross-market to the TopGolf guests for
proximate, affordable traditional golf facilities. This could be an
undertaking of perhaps the NGCOA to try and establish this
bridge. (I understand that there are multiple proximate courses
and you'd have to sort out whether they struck exclusive or coop
partnerships with local facilities but it could/should be done).
While I don't know how the economics might work, there ought
to be some reciprocal arrangement back to TopGolf for golfers/
rounds/spending that come from their initial contacts who try or
take up the game at a local facility. Colleague Stuart Lindsay has
been advancing the concept for a while about how and why some
cooperative consumer tracking would aid the industry and give a
better customer experience for the larger game of golf. More on
that later. In the meantime, the answer to the seminal question
is threefold: 1) TopGolf isn't hurting golf, the more the better
2) TopGolf isn't having the net impact on golf that the numbers would suggest for some reason (but not necessarily because
they're not producing golfers) and 3) A better bridge between
TopGolf and traditional golf could be built and would likely improve results for all. Golf doesn't need saving but we'd all be happier if we could find a short-term path to stabilizing participation
while we work on the larger, fundamental issue of adapting the
game to the changing consumer recreational preferences. That's
n
what's going to "save" golf.

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Pellucid Perspective - May 2017

TOC
ClubCorp withdraws sale offer, Affeldt to retire as CEO
Will TopGolf “Save” Golf?
EZLinks and TeeOff.com experience system outage
Mobile Apps and MAC Addresses: Is the golf industry paying attention?
April golf weather impact: Nice “bounce” to open northern season
April golf weather impact: Nice “bounce” to open northern season
Operators haven’t lost heart in San Francisco
Trolling for Millennials
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2017 - TOC
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2017 - ClubCorp withdraws sale offer, Affeldt to retire as CEO
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2017 - 3
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2017 - Will TopGolf “Save” Golf?
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2017 - 5
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2017 - EZLinks and TeeOff.com experience system outage
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2017 - Mobile Apps and MAC Addresses: Is the golf industry paying attention?
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2017 - April golf weather impact: Nice “bounce” to open northern season
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2017 - 9
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2017 - 10
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2017 - 11
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2017 - Operators haven’t lost heart in San Francisco
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2017 - 13
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2017 - Trolling for Millennials
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