Just because the first Major Professional Golf event is out of the way does not mean all is hunky-dory now in the golf economy. Nor does the lack of my reporting on golf’s economy mean things in Golf are back to 2005 levels.
“What I Really Want”
Since my last summer review of What Private Country Clubs Will Have to Do to Survive I have been polling my contacts, who are both members and non-members of country clubs, on what they really need from a private, semi-private, country club or golf club to remain or become a member.
It seems the same needs are there and the same demands are not being listened to as before. What I have found from golfers who are members of country clubs is what they Really Want and Really Need are sometimes the same. The overall message is made rather clear from one of the remarks I received,
“My club needs to modernize immediately to today’s culture’s interest and image or I am out of here. A complete overhaul of the clubhouse was needed years ago. The mistakes of the previous and current owners to not invest in the future of the club infrastructure will make it easy for members to reconsider remaining a club. Your description of the issues facing older country clubs in our country to attract new members is exactly how my club is marketing our Club. You just “Can’t keep putting lipstick on a pig”.”
One of the remarks from a new member of a club in California represented what the younger generation country club members want.
“What I want from my country club is pretty simple. I want a place I am excited about and proud to bring business associates, friends and family to enjoy with me. Right now, I hope they do not see the holes in the parking lot or the smell of sewage backed up.”
Club and Member Challenges Are Many
I feel for the club’s ownership as well as the member’s who are struggling to deal with the economy. However, there are solutions private clubs should and will have to consider in order to literally survive. Those country club not making the right decisions over the next year will be amongst the many private clubs forced to close. What does that do to the global economy?
How will the negative feels developed by the thousands of loyal supportive members have towards country clubs..and towards golf? The damage to the nation’s economy from the tens of thousands of people who work full time for country club being laid off will be another kick to the shins of private country clubs which trickles down to the negative reaction to Golf.
All because the wrong decision or solution was made by the club’s ownership. A lot is riding on private country club to make the right decision.
Good or Bad?
During my study I asked if the closing of older, or un-maintained newer facilities, would be Good or Bad for Golf and the Economy.
Interesting enough some of the remarks made also indicated where private clubs and golf need to set direction towards.
“In away, the failed economy could be a time for a culling of golf courses and private golf clubs. Many golf facilities built in the last ten years were thrown up to meet the speculation of the golf boom but the developers who had little interest in the golf facility. Their primary interest was in the real estate around the golf course. So they put little thinking into the long term for the golf part of the development by investing into quality infrastructure. Maybe this bump in the road is when these facilities need to get out.”
“Since private golf clubs are a nursery for Golf’s future I am sure their failure will NOT help Golf.”
It is clear golfers are truly concerned with their ‘Game’..and I am not talking about breaking Par. Over 90% of the golfers I surveyed are concerned with how the private country clubs are managed. Changes to these facilities have to be made or their days could be numbered.
So how will golf react? How will Private Clubs survive? Or do you even care?
Let me know how I can help