No Golf for..........

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  We continue to struggle with the challenges our industry faces every day.  Why aren't more young people coming to the game?  Why aren't core golfers playing more?  How will I grow my operation?  Yes, these questions and other like them come across our minds almost daily, and we struggle to find the answers.  Over the past several weeks, I have come across three numbers which can help us explain some of the struggles and maybe link us to a few solutions.

Last year golf courses across the country operated at a rounds capacity of about 52%.  We continue to have too many facilities and/or too few golfers.  One very upbeat number from last year is the total rounds number for 2012 as compared to 2011.  Rounds were up by 26 million, that is a 5.7% increase.  Yes, 26 million additional rounds!  Sure, the weather was amazing early and everywhere, but golfers could have been doing other things.

The third number truly put me back on my heels.  Last year Americans left 438 million vacation days on the table!  These were unused, left on the calendar.  Are people still in fear of losing their you think?  Wow, we picked up 26 million rounds in 2012, yet look at what was missed.  After years in this game, I know how golfers love their golf.  All we need do is to look in any office or even in elevators to watch golf swings minus the club.  Golfers want their golf, but the fear of the unknown will not be going away anytime soon.  Let's look at 5 thoughts which may help golfers play more golf:

  • Create a morning 9 hole group before work.  It can be a running 9 with a few clubs or a quick 9 in a cart
  • Review and reset rules, programs, and even staff hours in order to stretch the golf day
  • Set up a 9 after work, even provide a "dinner on the go" program complete for the family, nice!
  • Rework the club to bring more of a vacation feel for all.  What new benefits will you create to make golfers want to come and play?
  • Talk to people in the know to learn ways to create a one of a kind staycation experience for your golfers and their families, even on a Wednesday.

These unused vacation days are problematic, but they give us a chance to improve again by reviewing rules set during better times, to create more ways to get around your course more often, and more ways for golfers to feel great about the game they love and your operation.  Oh yes, one more thing: get strict on slow play.  Golfers love their families too......




Your comments are spot on. We need more ideas like this. One of the new trends I have heard is - providing baby sitting services so young moms can play 9 holes in the morning!

How come the 18-34 year old golfer is ignored by the golf industry? Most young adults want to play, do not have a family, have money (not a lot of it), but the industry traditionally ignores these folks. Young adults are the best consumers out there given they have the time, spend money, and want to play when courses are slower. College students are the start, but does expand beyond college too. It is about time the golf industry starts to think more about the lost generation of young players.

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