The Pellucid Perspective - October 2017 - 2

GOLF COURSE
BENCHMARKING

NGCOA casts its benchmarking lot
with ORCA
Hoping to drive strength in numbers
By Jim Koppenhaver

F

ollowing the demise of the PGA's PerformanceTrak
product in January of 2016, the NGCOA embarked on
an interesting journey of over a year to produce a replacement, culminating in their September 2017 announcement of
a partnership with ORCA. This followed previous announcements of partnerships between the California, Nevada and Arizona Golf Course Owners Associations and ORCA for benchmarking participation and reports. ORCA is the brainchild of
founder Mike Loustalot, whose previous industry experience is
widely known, spanning PAR Golf Systems, Golf Digest Information Systems, Spectrum Golf, golf707.com, Cypress Golf
Solutions and GolfNow over a 20+ year period. He adds some
color commentary to his bio, stating in a recent email exchange,
"There was a decade of evangelizing the benefits of digitizing
tee sheets, moving to computerized point of sale systems and
connecting to new demand sources for golfers (hotels, golf
packagers, airlines)." After a short tenure at struggling startup
Digital Caddies, Mike hung out a shingle and concurrently
started working on the local market benchmarking challenge,
launching ORCA in January '16.
ORCA's start was in its hometown market of Phoenix, AZ,
most likely the result of having an extensive network of contacts
to germinate the idea as well as having local knowledge of the
various facilities and generally acceptable performance metrics.
(This is smart; you pilot in places where you know the outcomes
so if the initial effort doesn't produce accurate results, you know
about it in advance). From there the company has branched out
into adjacent areas (CA, NV) as well as some more remote markets in Illinois, Texas, Oregon and the Mid-Atlantic to what a
recent press release cited as more than 250 participating courses
from their humble beginnings. What's not known at this point
is how many of those 250+ are paying facilities vs. participants at
Level I where they contribute rounds and revenue in exchange
for a basic set of reports at no charge vs. the paid participation
Levels II and III. Looking at the ORCA website and the market snapshots available, it also appears that there isn't yet enough
participation in markets outside the AZ/CA/NV core to pro-

duce comparative reports yet (inferred by the lack of expansion
Market Snapshots posted on their website).
Starting with the branding, it's a very clever acronym for the 4
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) at the heart of the reporting
platform:
* Occupancy
* Revenue per Available Round
* Channel Mix
* Average Rate per Round
When comparing this to its predecessor, PerformanceTrak, it
has more breadth of both measures and report types. (As a refresher, PerformanceTrak had Rounds, Revenue Total and by
Golf Fee, Merchandising and F&B departments), Days Open
and derivative measures (like Revenue-per-Round, Rounds Performance Factor, etc.). ORCA also benefits from starting at market level vs. PerformanceTrak, which aggregated to States (not
very useful) and PGA Sections (even less useful unless I guess
you were vying to have bragging rights with fellow PGA Members over who had the best numbers in the Section). On the
flip side, PerformanceTrak had the benefit of faster adoption via
a built-in trade association member loyalty angle, the incentive
of getting educational credits for participating as well as the ultimate benefit: It was subsidized by the PGA of America and
free. What PGA members learned in the end however is that
nothing is ever free and several hundred thousand of their annual
dues contribution was being used to provide the service back to
them which was, combined with declining participation, central
to its demise.
Looking at the product, the interface is nicely done and has
been in the market for over a year, which were likely contributing
factors to the NGCOA's endorsement decision. It's broken into
different levels of reporting depth and breadth which appear to
be cumulative:
* Level I - 6 reports covering things such as the basic
ORCA KPIs for the facility and its "comp set" for 4
periods (Curr Month, Year-to-Date, Running 3 and 12
months)

ORCA's start was in its hometown market of Phoenix, AZ, most
likely the result of having an extensive network of contacts to
germinate the idea as well as having local knowledge of the
various facilities and generally acceptable performance metrics.
2 The Pellucid PersPecTive

October 2017



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

TOC
NGCOA casts its benchmarking lot with ORCA
The NGCOA Technology Conference: A long time coming, but worth the wait
City nixes TopGolf deal in surprise move
Credit Management a “hot” topic? Acushnet playing tough?
September golf weather impact: Flat for month, flat for year
Like the Sox, Boston course owners need better pitching
Improving, or approving, one’s lie
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2017 - TOC
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2017 - NGCOA casts its benchmarking lot with ORCA
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2017 - 3
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2017 - 4
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2017 - 5
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2017 - The NGCOA Technology Conference: A long time coming, but worth the wait
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2017 - 7
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2017 - City nixes TopGolf deal in surprise move
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2017 - 9
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2017 - Credit Management a “hot” topic? Acushnet playing tough?
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2017 - September golf weather impact: Flat for month, flat for year
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2017 - 12
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2017 - 13
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2017 - Like the Sox, Boston course owners need better pitching
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2017 - 15
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2017 - 16
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2017 - Improving, or approving, one’s lie
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