There is a lot being said about all the challenges Golf faces in today’s economy and little notice being made of the businesses in Golf who are meeting those challenges by making changes in their direction or thinking.
This is not to say the economic challenges facing Golf are going away. In fact, indications are these challenges will be around for sometime to come. What can be said however is there are a few golf businesses, golf facility operators and golf professionals who are finally seeing what they were doing to promote their business just was not working.
Change from Old to New is Working
There seems to be a change in thinking by a few private country clubs in the way they do business. A trend seems to be starting amongst the private equity country clubs to rapidly move away from the old models of requiring high buy-in equity fees in order to become a member of the club. Many are moving to a more open door policy to membership recruiting. It seems the solution these clubs have initiated towards changing from the ultra private to a semi-private is attraction newer members.
While making my round robin of private country clubs I associate with, I found a success story with the Blackstone Country Club in Peoria, AZ who did in fact drop their equity membership plan. As a result their action has brought in new dues paying members in record numbers. Will this work for every equity club? If might be worth considering?
Adding more Value is Working
Recently, I was invited to be a guest at one of the municipals in Plano, TX. I was encouraged to see the management group for the course, previously known for its very conservative Old School policies, has opened up a little to include with their green fee food and (adult) beverages as part of a frequent golfer’s participation. This has proven to heighten the interest of the Business Golfers’ participation during the week at this facility. Will this work for every public golf course? Again, it could be worth looking into.
During my vacation this past Fall I spent a week in one of my golfing playgrounds, the Palm Springs California area. I saw how cooperative memberships between private country clubs is stirring the interest of potential country club members. Offering a membership to a number of other country clubs as part of the membership for the club one joins is now trending in the private club sector. Will cooperative receptacle memberships work for all private clubs? Of course, it has been tried before, but it would be worth trying again as long as the club’s are compatible.
Teach the Teacher is Working
While visiting with my close friend, Dave Bisbee, I was excited to hear how the teaching professionals of the PGA and LPGA are being encouraged to step outside the box of traditional thinking. Dave is on the point of the spear with offering a more productive method of teaching golf. Efforts are being made to offer teaching professionals tools that include learning more about how to understand the their students better so better communications can be made during the golf lessons. Knowing their student’s traits and characteristics of behavior before giving the student’s lesson sets the golf instruction in a better direction from the beginning.
These new ways of conducting an analysis of a student’s personality traits speeds up the teaching process and improves the learning experience for the student since it matches their style of learning how to play golf. This newer direction to teaching by learning how the student learns best keeps the golf students coming back for more lessons. The more a new golfer can comfortable learn to play golf the more likely they will continue their journey of a lifetime of Golf. Will this work for all golf instructors? It definitely would not hurt to try.
Change is Coming
A change in direction is slowly being made in golf’s direction. Hopefully these reports on innovative ways of improving Golf’s visibility to the general public will continue to bring in more golfers. The golf industry could use new blood, new ideas and new energy. This will only come with Change. I really feel things are going to get better for Golf as long as the golf industry looks for newer ways of doing business.
Let me know how I can help.