In order to restore value to our golf properties, we need to make them more efficient.
- Practice areas can often accommodate 50 or more people in an area the size of one golf hole. Should we enhance our practice facilities and market them?
- Is there property onsite that can be used for alternative purposes or sold for development? Often golf courses have excess land that can be put to a profitable use. These should be explored.
Clubhouses are too big and used too infrequently.
- How often is that 300 capacity banquet facility utilized?
- Does the pro shop offer the patron the ability to pick up a loaf of bread or carton of milk before heading home? Should we have the equivalent of small convenience stores in clubhouses? Hotels do it.
- Is there a fitness facility or kids area at the club – or even the daily fee course? If Mom can’t account for the kids, she can’t play golf.
Some in the industry talk about 6, 9 and 12 hole rounds. Should courses start charging by the hole?
- Private club players have that advantage and use it regularly.
RULES – Don’t get me wrong here, I appreciate and respect the traditions of the game, but society does change and we need to encourage more young people to enter the game. Some rules clubs have regarding dress codes, cell phone use and kids being restricted from the golf course are counter-productive to the long term viability of the clubs.
- What could it possibly be that is so offensive about (nice, well fitting, Polo brand) Cargo shorts that makes so many clubs prohibit them?
- Maybe I’m missing something, but collars and sleeves do not make women (or men) well dressed, and in fact many sleeveless and collarless shirts/tops are quite stylish and tasteful.
- No doubt, a cell phone in the hands of an inconsiderate person can be annoying. However, take away the cell phone and you still have an inconsiderate person, likely to be annoying in other ways.
- Kids are the future of the game and of clubs. If they are discouraged from playing at a young age, like they are at some clubs, they may not take up the game. At daily fee courses, how about letting kids play for free with a parent?
- And, of course, who could forget the USGA’s recent ruling on anchored putters. To that, I simply say “too late”. Regardless of whether you think they should be allowed or not either they should have been banned 30 years ago or not at all.
The “health of the game” means many things to many people. But if there’s no growth in the number of players and the number of rounds played, the overall health of the game will suffer. The value of golf course properties will struggle to recover and my guess is that TV viewership would suffer accordingly. Make golf user-friendly. It’s in the game’s best interests.