Commentary by Glen GerenaOperating a golf club or country club today is more challenging than ever, and one solution may be hiring a management company. The decision by a club owner or board to retain a management company could greatly impact the success of the club. More and more golf courses are deciding to hire a third party management company, with approximately 18 percent of all U.S. golf courses today employing this kind of support. Troon Golf, the largest club management company, has added over 123 new courses since 2011.
World Golf Report
McConnell Golf has $7.3 million in renovation and restoration work underway at four of its clubs, and it recently added two new national memberships to its offerings.
“McConnell Golf is focused on building clubs of the future,” said McConnell Golf Chief Operating Officer Christian Anastasiadis. “There is one reason we are in business — members. Attracting members through a quality and value experience, and retaining members via a sustainable product that they always want to be part of.”
The number of golf courses in the U.S. declined again, dropping by 190 to end 2016 with 15,014 facilities, according the the National Golf Foundation. Overall, the number of facilities is down 5.6 percent since 2006.
Golf Inc. has selected 10 courses for recognition in its annual Renovation of the Year competition. The annual contest recognizes the best renovation projects from around the globe.
"We had more courses worthy of recognition this year than any prior year," said Jack Crittenden, Editor In Chief of Golf Inc. "It was a great group of projects that showed the breadth of work being undertaken across the world."
Diversified Pacific received city approval to redevelop part of the Upland Hills Country Club golf course in Upland, Calif. The homebuilder acquired 8.4 acres from the golf course to make room for 68 detached condominiums.
By selling the land, the owners, led by Dr. Chris Kim, will be able to pay off a $5.8 million loan on the course, making it debt-free. But, the sale will shrink the field of play on four holes. The owners will invest $749,000 to accommodate the changes and improve the golf course.
The City of Detroit hopes to sell its four remaining golf courses, according to the person who oversees recreation for the city.
"It's just not a profitable business to be in,” Charlie Beckham, told the Detroit News. “Bankruptcy has forced us to look at those kinds of activities for the city that are not servicing a large portion of the population.”
ClubCorp closed on its third acquisition in 2017 with the purchase of Norbeck Country Club, which is located in Rockville, Maryland, just north of Washington, D.C. ClubCorp plans a multimillion-dollar reinvention of the club that will feature new dining amenities, and improvements and upgrades to the club over the next two years.
The USGA has introduced Resource Management, a new web-based product that is part of its effort to better help golf facilities be economically and environmentally sustainable.
The Club Managers Association of Europe (CMAE) has launched a most comprehensive club and golf benchmarking study, thought to be the largest ever undertaken in Europe.
Delivered by Global Golf Advisors, its aim will be to measure vital operational performance metrics and industry-wide trends against which clubs can benchmark their own performance.
KemperSports will manage Yucaipa Valley Golf Club, an 18-hole course in Yucaipa, Calif., along the foothills south of the San Bernardino Mountains in east San Bernardino County.
Yucaipa Valley Golf Club has been a popular golf destination and community hub for almost 20 years, with a par-72, 6,800-yard track that was designed by Rainville & Bye.