Dormie-Club-WEB
DORMIE NETWORK

THE BUSINESS OF GOLF

A Dormie Network membership provides access to nationally ranked private clubs.

Lincoln, Nebraska: Our industry continues to migrate through a changing landscape. Many private clubs have diversified beyond golf with resort-style pools, spa services, fitness centers, and family amenities to justify initiation fees that can top $100,000 and monthly dues that match the cost of college tuition. Club managers continue to wrestle with the bottom line, considering country club revenue has grown by a paltry one percent annually most of this decade. Interestingly, the cost to join does not correlate to usage. A typical private club member plays about 70 times per year and spends just under $5,000 annually on golf related travel.

A New Business Model

Dormie Network, with its headquarters based in Lincoln, Nebraska, includes six highly regarded private golf clubs: Ballyhack Golf Club in Virginia, ArborLinks in Nebraska, Briggs Ranch Golf Club in Texas, Dormie Club in North Carolina, Victoria National in Indiana, and Hidden Creek Golf Club in New Jersey. Future plans include the steady addition of as many as a dozen highly rated golf clubs nationwide.

“We’re not talking about reciprocal play arrangements,” explained Zach Peed, president of Dormie Network. “Each member is considered a full member at all clubs with unlimited play and no catches like cart fees, food minimums, or assessments.”

Dormie Network’s membership offerings include initiation fees and dues that are likely less than what many golfers pay at their local clubs, and they are resonating with local, national, and corporate members around the country who are seeking pristine golf venues ideal for weekends away as well as corporate retreats and client meetings.

“We’ve experienced explosive growth since launching three years ago,” added Peed. “We now have members from over 30 states and even from outside the U.S., as well as a growing list of corporate clients that is quickly advancing Dormie Network’s membership value in terms of social capital.”

The business plan is quite unlike the standard private club model, where revenue streams are driven primarily by initiation fees and dues.

“A typical private club expects around 70 percent of its operating budget to come from monthly dues,” continued Peed. “Our business plan reverses that formula, relying predominately on usage of our overnight accommodations and food and beverage revenue.”

Total Control From Start To Finish

Dormie Network outright owns and operates each of its facilities to ensure total control of the member experience. “With a ‘we own it and control it’ philosophy, we are able to run operations with full autonomy,” explained Dave Plaster, CMO of Dormie Network. “Many private clubs have had to reduce staff out of necessity, resulting in aging facilities and mediocre experiences throughout golf. I’m a firm believer that you can’t cut your way to prosperity.

“Our size provides strategic operational advantages,” continued Plaster. “We’re able to maximize volume discounts and minimize back-of-house payroll by centralizing operations like accounting and purchasing under one roof for all of our facilities. This affords the opportunity to invest in more frontline staff, which guarantees an outstanding level of service. In short, operational efficiencies and our disciplined managerial approach allow us to make decisions that protect the strong brand Dormie Network is establishing.”

Consistency From Club To Club

The impact a single brand can have on not only customer experiences but on entire industries is tremendous. “Look at the success of Apple,” lauded Dormie Network’s COO Mark Ruhga. “Its stock market valuation, approaching one trillion dollars, is directly correlated to the company’s ability to offer superior products at a price point where consumers find value.

“Visits to California’s wine country are a passion of mine,” continued Ruhga. “The environment is welcoming and warm and, while golf is a different arena than the vineyards of Napa, the importance of personal connections and genuine hospitality remains.

“No matter where you are, appreciation and authenticity make you feel really good,” said Ruhga.

“Whether our members and guests are playing Victoria National [a Golf Digest Top 100 Course in America] or Dormie Club [located in the home of American golf], the importance of delivering a consistent experience on and off the golf course cannot be overstated,” added Ruhga. “Dormie Network is truly unmatched hospitality.” 

To learn more about Dormie Network, please visit their website, DormieNetwork.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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