The Pellucid Perspective - September 2017 - 5
Golf Tourism Solutions ups the ante
in Myrtle Beach
Golf Holiday successor expands course services and marketing goals
By Jim Dunlap
yrtle Beach Golf Holiday, already the golf industry's
runaway leader in destination marketing and promotion, is about to take it up a notch in ways that other
golf-centric markets might learn from. As of the first of the
year, Golf Holiday will be absorbed into a new entity called
Golf Tourism Solutions which will not only expand promotion
of Myrtle Beach golf, tourism appeal and lifestyle but will also
provide individual marketing and operational support to its 75
area golf course members.
"As a tax exempt entity, Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday was
formed to promote tourism, but it didn't really play on the area
lifestyle aspect, local golf properties or individual course marketing," said Bill Golden, the president of MGBH who will
serve as CEO for Golf Tourism Solutions. "We knew we had
to find a way to change in order to help with individual member marketing. We'll still do all the tourism and destination
marketing we have done, but now we can provide individual
marketing services to individual properties. Local golf courses
are stretched thin. Personnel are not available in many cases to
do social media feeds, marketing, database management, web
site analytics, etc. Additionally, yield management and revenue
management are not necessarily in the wheelhouse of the average golf course, and we can offer that service as well."
On the national golf industry landscape, owners are notoriously reluctant to share information with or otherwise partner with competitors for marketing purposes. Myrtle Beach
area courses have long practiced what Golden terms "coopetition" via their support of the destination marketing efforts
of MBGH, grateful for the potential golfers attracted to the
Grand Strand area. As member courses in Golf Tourism Solutions, the 75 participants are demonstrating their support to the
tune of $15,000 annually, $10,000 of which goes toward destination marketing similar to what MBGH provided, with the
remaining $5,000 used for their individual course's marketing
and promotion. If courses need more marketing support than
the $5K will cover, Golf Tourism Solutions has a full range of
additional marketing services that courses can purchase.
Golf courses are only one of the financial bulwarks of the
Golf Tourism Solutions program. The 75 courses are virtually
matched by nearly the same number of "provider" members
such as hotels and motels, restaurants, retail establishments
and others who benefit from golf-related tourism. Providers are charged a fee based on the number of rounds played
by their guests or customers during their stay. Golf Tourism
Solutions also contributes significantly to the organization's
budget through what Golden said are "6 or 7 revenue producing events" which generate approximately $2.5M, including
well known productions such as the recently completed World
Amateur tournament and the annual Monday after the Masters celebrity-filled event. Through the dues-based golf course
contributions, the transaction-based providers input and revenue generated by Golf Tourism Solutions, Golden said the
group hopes to be working with a budget in excess of $7M
"For every dollar that a member gives, we put in dollars,"
Golden said. "We're not relying totally on members to fund our
activities. We're positioning ourselves as a media company, plus
we're able to tap into state and local grant funding."
In addition to helping Myrtle Beach area courses and hospitality providers with already committed customers, Golden said
that Golf Tourism Solutions is hoping to generate new golfers.
The company hopes to dive into the player development waters
soon with the acquisition of a local par-3 facility and establishment of what they will call ProjectGolf.org. Working with
the First Tee and various junior golf programs and establishing
a golf training facility, Golden said the group's goal is to "put
Myrtle Beach on the map for player development."
While Golden and the other Golf Tourism Solutions members are primarily focused on promoting the unique laid back
allure of Myrtle Beach and its numerous golf courses to both
visitors and potential home buyers, Golden is well aware that
Myrtle Beach area courses share many problems with courses
throughout the U.S.
"Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday has done such a great job of
generating air service growth to Myrtle Beach, but now we've
got to attract new customers for those flights," Golden said.
"The key component on the golf side is for facilities to work
together. Golf doesn't have a distribution problem, it has a demand problem. We've got to get back to selling [Myrtle Beach]
golf as great golf, a great place to come and the nightlife we
While few golf markets offer the number of courses in such
a relatively concentrated area as Myrtle Beach's Grand Strand
locale, one wonders if golf-heavy markets like Scottsdale or the
Scottsdale/Phoenix area, the Palm Springs area, Pinehurst area
or even city, county or statewide golf associations couldn't benefit
from a cooperative marketing and operations provider such as
Golf Tourism Solutions. While the core success of most public
courses will depend upon local repeat play, how many wouldn't
benefit from increased visitor play? It's worth a thought.
The Pellucid PersPecTive
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Pellucid Perspective - September 2017
Is TopGolf going to save us?
Golf Tours and Solutions ups the ante in Myrtle Beach
Municipal golf remains in the crosshairs: From Tucson AZ to Buffalo Grove IL
NGCOA hosts first industry Technology conference in 20 years
August golf weather impact: 2nd consecutive month of positive “comps”!
Barring hurricanes, Miami golf market in decent shape
Faster carts not the answer to golf’s problems
The Pellucid Perspective - September 2017 - TOC
The Pellucid Perspective - September 2017 - Is TopGolf going to save us?
The Pellucid Perspective - September 2017 - 3
The Pellucid Perspective - September 2017 - 4
The Pellucid Perspective - September 2017 - Golf Tours and Solutions ups the ante in Myrtle Beach
The Pellucid Perspective - September 2017 - Municipal golf remains in the crosshairs: From Tucson AZ to Buffalo Grove IL
The Pellucid Perspective - September 2017 - 7
The Pellucid Perspective - September 2017 - 8
The Pellucid Perspective - September 2017 - NGCOA hosts first industry Technology conference in 20 years
The Pellucid Perspective - September 2017 - August golf weather impact: 2nd consecutive month of positive “comps”!
The Pellucid Perspective - September 2017 - 11
The Pellucid Perspective - September 2017 - 12
The Pellucid Perspective - September 2017 - Barring hurricanes, Miami golf market in decent shape
The Pellucid Perspective - September 2017 - 14
The Pellucid Perspective - September 2017 - 15
The Pellucid Perspective - September 2017 - Faster carts not the answer to golf’s problems