One of the main issues that has restricted golf’s development over the last 15 years has been the consistent resistance to change!
Maybe the current global situation will finally force the hands of outdated committees and “good ol’ boy” clubs to change their strategy if they want to survive?
Here’s some of our thoughts on industry changes we can expect to see over the next 6-12 months…
- Golf clubs will have to operate a booking system. Unless you’ve been under a rock for the last 3 months, digital technology is the way of the future! It’s almost unfathomable to think some clubs manage their entire golf course without a digital tee sheet. Firstly there’s an efficiency argumentbto be debated, but more importantly the health and safety aspect of knowing exactly who’s on your course at any given time should be persuasive enough for any modern facility.
- The membership model will undergo a drastic reformation. Expect to see a distinct move from a fixed, to rolling year model. How about a month to month membership? Not ideal for underperforming or ill-equipped clubs, but certainly inviting to the broader consumer base. Clubs need to recognize there is a huge risk in the majority of annual revenues been due on the same date.
- Clubs need to invest resources in direct debit options for their members. Few bills, if any, are paid in full up front………and no discretionary activity should impose this on their “valued” consumers. If you’re not willing to go to monthly rates, be prepared to hang up the “closed” sign more often that not.
- Clubs will need to encourage the ‘transient’ golfer even more in the modern world. Alert: with unemployment at historic levels, the lines of people waiting at your gold-plated country club doors is NOT going to happen. As exclusive as you want to be, gold plated handles also sink in a rough sea.
- Rethink your programming strategy. Cigar clubs and card lounges are not going to cut it in 2020 if you’re looking to attract (and retain) a broader audience. If you’re not committed to family-style offerings, you’re well behind the modern “8-ball” of requirements to survive.
Times are changing and in order to navigate these turbulent times, you need to deploy a modern, updated strategy to maximize attraction and retainment value.
MacKellar Golf Management, LLC (“MGM”) provides full-service operational management solutions for properties across all market segments including traditional equity and non-equity private clubs, resorts and premier daily-fee golf courses.