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What is the future of the Golf Economy?


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Found this post to be an interesting read regarding this subject.  Guess you can make your own conclusion.  Golf has survived many ups and downs, and I think it will still be here when I am dead for those who choose to afford to play this wonderful game.     https://linchpinseo.com/trends-in-the-golf-industry/

 

 

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1 hour ago, release said:

Same in our area,  Many senior with fixed income are cutting back on their range session and rounds per week.  Golf is one of the few activities which keeps the senior out of the house and get their exercises.  Golf courses are eager to make up for the golf craze from the new population.  They even denied the Summer program for junior golf.  Why would they give discounted fee for the juniors while they could charge 4 times the green fees to these new golfers ?

They run the municipal golf courses like they run a,  for profit business.  

I worked in the golf business and I fully understand that you have to capture revenue when it is there to be captured. But gouging people is not right. It will balance itself out eventually. 

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28 minutes ago, hrfdez said:

Oh please!!!! If you are going to just troll, then stay in your basement.  If you want to have an actual conversation then I'm all ears.

As a matter of fact, I'm not even going to waste my time.  It is obvious you are just a keyboard jockey.  Bye!

Thanks for reminding why I walked away from forums 10 years ago.

Not sure what your issue might be? I'm not trolling. Golf was never locked down in the Commonwealth of Virginia at any point during the pandemic, assuming that's what you are referring to. I have played more golf over the past 18 months than at any point since taking up the game 35 years ago at the age of 11. I do feel for the states where golf was locked down but to suggest, as you did, there was a "national lockdown" simply isn't true!

Speaking of basements, I can't get access to mine. My teenage daughters and their friends took it over years ago. I'm currently sitting in my office waiting for CAD to process documents so I wrap up a water distribution system project for central Virginia.

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15 hours ago, THEZIPR23 said:

I worked in the golf business and I fully understand that you have to capture revenue when it is there to be captured. But gouging people is not right. It will balance itself out eventually. 

You have the right frame for mindset.  However, both you and I know, the "businesses" are not run by the people in the business any longer.  They all seemed to be run by those young hotshots newly graduated from some Ivy League graduate school.   Hate to slam all of them into the category of heartless, but they were hired to be the butcher.  Bottom line seemed to be the only goal.

Don't be surprised your local healthcare industry is also running by the same type of admin.  I know so.  Every industry is on the cutting edge of highly competitive environment.  

On the other hands, I fully understood that they must capture the revenue on the commodity of seasonal income.  When the Summer is over, it's over.  Can't store it in the inventory !

I'm just kind of sad that, the only country in the whole world with this sports to be affordable by the average income class is gradually diminished into conforming with the rest of the world.  Which means the average retired person no longer could afford to stay in this favorite pastime as they would like to.  How could one be enthusiastic, If a retired person could only afford a handful of rounds golf each month.  They worked hard all their life because they had obligations, no time nor the financial resources to golf as much as they'd like when they were younger.  Now they'd love to golf after retirement but no financial means to keep them interested in the game.  

How could a retired person chose between a pot roast and a round of golf ?    I'll tell you my choice.  It'll be my favorite food and drink.

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On 7/22/2021 at 1:24 PM, Riverboat said:

Let me start by saying this is a serious question, not being argumentative, I'm honestly curious. What is the advantage of a chipper? Why not just use the club with the loft you are looking for and chip with that? You only have 14 spots.  Is the chipper that valuable?

 

3 hours ago, sixcat said:

Not sure what your issue might be? I'm not trolling. Golf was never locked down in the Commonwealth of Virginia at any point during the pandemic, assuming that's what you are referring to. I have played more golf over the past 18 months than at any point since taking up the game 35 years ago at the age of 11. I do feel for the states where golf was locked down but to suggest, as you did, there was a "national lockdown" simply isn't true!

Speaking of basements, I can't get access to mine. My teenage daughters and their friends took it over years ago. I'm currently sitting in my office waiting for CAD to process documents so I wrap up a water distribution system project for central Virginia.

Agree. In WI, we only missed April and May. The courses only become really playable in later May. Several private clubs then had waiting lists. We have one public driving range with heated bays. They had to add a scannable code outside the building to check the wait times. Too often the times ran out past an hour. 
Last year was crazy for access times. 

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6 hours ago, ShootingYourAge said:

Tee times are scarce at the club level., not just public courses  What is the pushback going to be, and in some places already is, from the long-standing members who now have upwards of 50% more golfers to compete with for tee times, dinner reservations, etc.?

I believe this phenomenon will also pass with the end of the pandemic.  Problem is, no one could say when the end will come.

I fear, when the inflation coupled with the depression of the growth of the economy.... we'll be in deep SHIP.  The creating of the money ( which we had been doing for awhile before the pandemic ) and the basic industry to carry the banner is the Real Estate market ( which had the bigger bubble than the last crash from the savings and loan crisis).  We can tell from the loosening of the regulation for qualifying of a mortgage loan.... not a good sign.  We're even begging for foreign investment.  Had seen loan for a non-citizen with only a foreign passport.  what does that tell you ?  Scary stuff if one understand that not just us, the second largest economic body in the world also riding on bubbles of equity value and real estate .  we'll have no one to bail us out if the bubble burst.   

Sometimes, it's better to be ignorant.  Burying our heads in the sand, and go play golf.

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I can't believe how busy our golf courses are over the past year.  The courses are raking in the money; they have to be.  Our problem is we don't have enough courses IMO.  We have six 18-hole courses open to the public and one private course; we also have three 9-hole courses.  This is the same number of courses that our area had 25 years ago, and our population has doubled since then.  Six 18-hole public courses is not very many for a population center of more than 250K.

The pandemic brought out a lot of people to play golf, because it was basically the only sport people could play during the lockdown.  Two years ago, I could head to my course around 10am during the week and join a twosome or play as a single.  Today, I can't get on my course without a tee time; maybe I could join others after 1pm, but leagues start around 3pm.  There are times in the morning when the range is full.  Many people have large buckets are will be there for awhile, and if you have a tee time, good luck getting a few swings in.  This is during the week!!  They are not all old guys like me; many are young.  Don't people work anymore??

 

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9 hours ago, Kenny B said:

I can't believe how busy our golf courses are over the past year.  The courses are raking in the money; they have to be.  Our problem is we don't have enough courses IMO.  We have six 18-hole courses open to the public and one private course; we also have three 9-hole courses.  This is the same number of courses that our area had 25 years ago, and our population has doubled since then.  Six 18-hole public courses is not very many for a population center of more than 250K.

The pandemic brought out a lot of people to play golf, because it was basically the only sport people could play during the lockdown.  Two years ago, I could head to my course around 10am during the week and join a twosome or play as a single.  Today, I can't get on my course without a tee time; maybe I could join others after 1pm, but leagues start around 3pm.  There are times in the morning when the range is full.  Many people have large buckets are will be there for awhile, and if you have a tee time, good luck getting a few swings in.  This is during the week!!  They are not all old guys like me; many are young.  Don't people work anymore??

 

We do a bit of work with some golf course "architects" from time to time. One local guy in North Carolina is known for restoring old Ross designs. He is currently bringing a handful of abandoned courses back to life in and around the Pinehurst / Southern Pines area for this very reason. Demand, at the moment, is much higher than supply. 

Edit to add Instagram link I finally found. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/CRUlVrEtQpb/

 

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13 hours ago, hrfdez said:

Oh please!!!! If you are going to just troll, then stay in your basement.  If you want to have an actual conversation then I'm all ears.

As a matter of fact, I'm not even going to waste my time.  It is obvious you are just a keyboard jockey.  Bye!

Thanks for reminding why I walked away from forums 10 years ago.

I apologize if my comments were inappropriate. They weren't intended to be. I'm blunt and sometimes, don't read my postings prior to submitting. Semantics can be a ****** sometimes. I took your comment as a national lockdown of golf courses. You were likely speaking more in general terms of locking down society. 

Regardless, please don't leave on my account. I may be blunt and sometimes an ******* but I'm reasonable and almost always respectful. Call me out on my BS and let's move on!

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9 hours ago, Kenny B said:

Don't people work anymore??

 

They're, working with their smart phone ( supposed to be working from home ).  There are app to cheat the attendance in case someone checked the activities on the account.

I know a few bragging about an hour dog walk and two hours launch and nap break......... they treat the working from home as a semi holiday leave.

The walked on waiting list at our local municipal golf courses used to be within 30 min. during the weekdays ( Monday-Thursday, since they charge the same rate as weekend rate for Friday )  Now, depending on the weather, could be anywhere from an hour wait to much longer.  No tee time for the single golfer, and I could hear a lot of the single's name being paged to the first tee.  Lots of "funny" names when the proshop page the walked on golfers.  We could tell when some celebrity's names being pages, or some names from the popular game being announced.   Must not want their real name to be announced just in casr their supervisors are also on the golf course.

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13 hours ago, Kenny B said:

I can't believe how busy our golf courses are over the past year.  The courses are raking in the money; they have to be.  Our problem is we don't have enough courses IMO.  We have six 18-hole courses open to the public and one private course; we also have three 9-hole courses.  This is the same number of courses that our area had 25 years ago, and our population has doubled since then.  Six 18-hole public courses is not very many for a population center of more than 250K.

We've been driving further away and paying more than usual to secure a 9:30 weekend tee time. Unfortunately the course is closing, even with a full tee sheet most weekends.  This in turn is going to put a crunch on other local public courses.  Thing is we really enjoy playing different courses throughout the year, but we're now thinking about getting a credit line membership at a local club in order to be able to play next year.

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23 hours ago, sixcat said:

We're a stock/equity club so, membership requires the purchase of one share of stock. Having a noticeable increase in membership applications, accompanied by a stock purchase request isn't normal. The uptick in applicants has been coming from the 18-34 demographic. That is pleasantly surprising to me considering the average age of our membership has been rising for a number of years now. We currently have approximately 375 active, dues paying members. 

I'll be really curious to see how the pandemic affects the endangered equity stock membership model along with private country club type models in general. From what I've seen, private golf clubs are still doing okay but clubs that are still using equity memberships were starting to languish as the older members started passing away and weren't there to make the growing annual assessments. I see a future of more private clubs that have a more golf centric focus instead of offering the "country club" amenities of pools, restaurants/bars, tennis courts, etc. However, it will be interesting to see if the new younger members decide to stick it out and give the old country clubs a shot in the arm. I know the types and success of country clubs is largely dependent on regional and local factors but I'll be curious to see if the surge in golf gives a boost to these clubs. 

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22 minutes ago, Kansas King said:

I'll be really curious to see how the pandemic affects the endangered equity stock membership model along with private country club type models in general. From what I've seen, private golf clubs are still doing okay but clubs that are still using equity memberships were starting to languish as the older members started passing away and weren't there to make the growing annual assessments. I see a future of more private clubs that have a more golf centric focus instead of offering the "country club" amenities of pools, restaurants/bars, tennis courts, etc. However, it will be interesting to see if the new younger members decide to stick it out and give the old country clubs a shot in the arm. I know the types and success of country clubs is largely dependent on regional and local factors but I'll be curious to see if the surge in golf gives a boost to these clubs. 

I have been a member for 16 years. Never had an assessment and my yearly dues have gone up once. That dues increase was $85 annually I think. But we're fortunate and likely not the norm across the industry. Especially, as you correctly point out, for a stock/equity club model.

We have absolutely no debt and an avid membership with a median age of around 54. But that median age isn't likely to decrease anytime soon. I don't foresee the club incurring debt anytime soon either though. We don't have restaurant services, food, beverage, tennis, fitness, etc. to clutter the bottom line. We do golf and nothing more. But we still need to attract some younger members to counterbalance the aging membership. We are doing a pretty good job of that at the moment. Time will tell if that continues to be the case. In my opinion, it will be determined by how successful the region is in keeping young professionals from relocating to more populated areas with more of a nightlife. That's been a growing problem over the past two decades. I fear, it will only increase. 

We do have one thing in our favor. We host a rather large annual Open tournament every August open to professional or amateur entrants. The club makes a considerable profit from this tournament. If my math is correct, the 2021 installment will be the 59th annual. It's an impressive event. 

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6 hours ago, Kansas King said:

I'll be really curious to see how the pandemic affects the endangered equity stock membership model along with private country club type models in general. From what I've seen, private golf clubs are still doing okay but clubs that are still using equity memberships were starting to languish as the older members started passing away and weren't there to make the growing annual assessments. I see a future of more private clubs that have a more golf centric focus instead of offering the "country club" amenities of pools, restaurants/bars, tennis courts, etc. However, it will be interesting to see if the new younger members decide to stick it out and give the old country clubs a shot in the arm. I know the types and success of country clubs is largely dependent on regional and local factors but I'll be curious to see if the surge in golf gives a boost to these clubs. 

Private golf club/country club, whether it's equity ownership or not, all have special assessments.  The price the members pay for having their own play ground.  Club house , fitness room, shower/locker room , dinning facility, plus any other amenities.  Swimming pools/diving pool.  Sauna room/ massage facility , I had even seen one with bowling alleys , tennis courts............ All of the goodies need to be maintained and add improvements over the years.

I know there was a local golf course which hosted the PGA Championship in the past has major exodus of memberships, because of a special assessment of over $80K for improvements. 

Equity membership means ownership, the members will pay for everything that ties with the property.  including lawsuits.  Personally, I stayed away from equity ownership, one has to pay the initiation fee to get in, and a hefty exit fee when selling/leaving the club.  I enjoy playing the public daily fee golf courses ( and some of them are quite nice, just can't pick your company ), the leftover balance from paying the monthly membership due, could mean a few golf trips to dream destination.

 

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We don’t stop playing the game because we get old; we get old because we stop playing the game.”

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