It's the golf economy, stupid!

Average: 1.7 (3 votes)
When several hundred attendees gather for the Spring Golf Inc. Conference later this month at the World Golf Village, it’s not hard to guess what the major topic of discussion will be. To borrow what has become an American political cliché, “It’s the economy, stupid!”
That’s why much of the content of the March 30-April 1 sessions in St. Augustine, Fla., in which nearly 100 industry leaders participate as speakers will be targeted specifically toward providing innovative ideas and practical suggestions aimed at helping owners and operators get through this recession. This year’s event will be more interactive and engaging than ever before. If there’s something you’d like to talk about, this is your chance to get one-on-one advice from the experts.
Starting with the unique Strategic Marketing Symposium on Monday to the World Golf Foundation-sponsored International Forum on Wednesday, a wide range of speakers and panels will help provide the insight, inspiration and guidance operators need to chart a successful future for their properties.  
Sure, the golf industry is hurting right now. Development has ground to a standstill, financing for sales is virtually frozen and environmental restrictions are posing a major challenge for many course builders. But there are still plenty of reasons to look forward to the future. 

The golf industry has survived tough times before. And it will get through this as well. Smart operators will dedicate the time and effort to educate themselves and to learn from others. That’s the key, not just to short-term survival but to long-term prosperity.  

What are the most pressing topics you'd like to see industry leaders address? What do you need to know in order to survive these tough times? What are some of the specific problems you have encountered in this difficult economy? What business lessons have you learned from dealing with the recession?


Sure, the golf industry has survived tough times before, but will it be in the same form when we come out of the current debachle. I think not! Golf needs a major make-over to survive into the future. The golf of today needs to appeal to a much wider spectrum of people. People's economic and time constrained needs are changing. The old golf model of over one-hundred years is no longer relevant. With new golf industry initiatives of "green-technology" and "land-modification" in mind, the game will continue to grow in a much more practical and conforming direction.

The golf industry can "go green" and save input dollars by naturalizing areas and reducing fuel, pesticide and fertilizer costs by using independent experts (not suppliers)to validate reduced inputs to each golf course in North America. These activities may be embraced and celebrated (through effective PR)and in turn may be used to attract greener and younger golfers (women, young families,and environmentally conscious newcomers) This paradigm shift is needed in these tough times. JJ

Inertia is human nature! We all think that innovation is a costly endeavor, but it can be low cost. During tough times we must all be inspired to be better and shine. When the economy and consumer attitudes improve it will be the organizations that implemented changes during the tough times that will thrive. As a golf industry supplier, I am continually perplexed by the defeatist attitude of prospects and customers. Specifically, I offer them a '"turn-key" golf greeting card merchandising program with an excellent ROI. However, the prevailing attitude is to sell the inventory they have - even if it's not the customers' preference (they're stocked out on the top sellers). The Industry is void of retailing leaders that can help navigate recessionary waters. At, I explain how I hope to make a positive contribution.

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