The Pellucid Perspective - June 2018 - 4

GOLF COURSE
OPERATIONS

ed to provide six figure subsidies to keep the course open this year.
That same management company operated additional courses for
another major park district in a neighboring state, and they are
scrambling to find the six figure subsidies those properties are
going to need.
Our privately owned client seeking higher and better use was
already zoned for 400 relatively dense residential units. He proposed a zoning change that would allow commercial/residential
use on 20% of his acreage with 80% retained as "green recreational space" providing needed athletic facilities and alternative
recreational activities. Sure enough, "golfers" showed up en masse
and forced an expensive referendum. At least the "non-golfers"
that didn't show up in good numbers for the hearings showed up
to vote overwhelmingly in favor of the referendum.
There are plenty more examples of these exercises being played
out in Tucson, Stockton, Detroit, Chicago and Atlanta, to name
a few. I don't even want to think about how many more situations will be aggravated by the miserable Spring weather in the
Northeast and Midwest.
In the end, what is really important is how these different closure rates are going to shape the future. With the actual number of "avid" golfers in the 25 - 44 year old age segment falling,
the "Member Equity" segment is in a better position to attract a
higher percentage of those younger golfers that do embrace the
game.

This in turn will put even more pressure on the privately
owned courses that are overwhelmingly daily fee properties. For
"troubled" courses that continue to cut operational corners in
maintenance and customer service and preside over a decline in
overall customer experience, the end can't come soon enough.
In the meantime, those that will survive are figuring out how
to deliver better course conditions for less and enhance customer
service by training both their maintainance and counter staff better than the course down the street. Fortunately, we do see courses
that are doing that and adjusting their programs for customer retention in spite of widespread industry programs that encourage
public golfers to play multiple facilities.
Another positive note is a discussion I had with one of my
industry friends who was surprised by the relatively low closure
median age - he asked if that could be due to the older course
having more "equity." I think he's right and it might be supported
by the apparent success in the "Member Equity" segment. The
older privately owned daily fee courses that have been prudently
managed have had a longer term to create the financial strength
to weather the tough industry conditions that exist.
In the golf industry's case, Neil Young is right about "being
better to burn out." On the other hand, MacArthur was sort of
right about the old soldiers never dying. In the end, however,
the cold, hard truth is that this whole fading away thing is being
played out in slow motion.
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https://www.troon.com/management-services/

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Pellucid Perspective - June 2018

TOC
Course closures – some perspective from Pellucid
CapEx: The looming monster under the bed for munis
Courses turning unused land into cash cow
May golf weather impact: We Finally Catch a Break
Cleveland market challenged, but not like Cavs
It is, after all, all about the money
The Pellucid Perspective - June 2018 - TOC
The Pellucid Perspective - June 2018 - Course closures – some perspective from Pellucid
The Pellucid Perspective - June 2018 - 3
The Pellucid Perspective - June 2018 - 4
The Pellucid Perspective - June 2018 - CapEx: The looming monster under the bed for munis
The Pellucid Perspective - June 2018 - 6
The Pellucid Perspective - June 2018 - Courses turning unused land into cash cow
The Pellucid Perspective - June 2018 - 8
The Pellucid Perspective - June 2018 - May golf weather impact: We Finally Catch a Break
The Pellucid Perspective - June 2018 - 10
The Pellucid Perspective - June 2018 - 11
The Pellucid Perspective - June 2018 - Cleveland market challenged, but not like Cavs
The Pellucid Perspective - June 2018 - 13
The Pellucid Perspective - June 2018 - 14
The Pellucid Perspective - June 2018 - It is, after all, all about the money
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