August 2019 Industry Report

Sobering statistics



PRIVATE CLUBS: Even a century ago, people were commenting about the cost of playing golf. A 1915 issue of The American Magazine listed the cost of initiation fees at exclusive private golf clubs averaged $5,000. That’s the equivalent of more than $120,000 in today’s dollars. Conclusion: initiation fee compression at private clubs has been a headwind for generations.



GENERAL GOLF MARKET: A typical avid golfer a century ago spent $120, not including travel, in golf related costs (today that equates to $2,800). According to a Golf Magazine survey several years ago, the typical avid golfer today averages $2,776 in golf expenses. Conclusion: a typical avid golfer today spends about the same as an avid golfer a century ago.



The world in which we live



A shocking statistic that may or may not surprise you: 87% of Americans keep their cell phone within five feet of them for 22 hours (or more) per day.



Like it or not, technology continues to weave its way into all aspects of our life – including the golf course. While some private club management teams consider their clubs a sanctuary for members from the outside world, in my opinion it is naïve to ignore facts. If your membership doesn’t have access to clear reception and speedy wi-fi, many will consider it a negative. If you have complimentary wi-fi at your facility, I would like to recommend you extend coverage to your practice facilities. Many members consider practice facilities as important as the golf course.



Follow up – A fall and lawsuit



We’ve all seen golfers standing on the back of a golf cart, being shuttled from Point A to Point B. This familiar scenario proved tragic at Mason City Country Club when a guest during a company outing, fell and died.  A lawsuit has been filed against the cart manufacturer, company sponsor, and the country club. The tragic lesson learned: now is the time to review staff rules and explain in layman terms why they are in place. Real life examples are more likely to resonate with employees.



Late summer getaway



Ever yearned to play Teeth of the Dog at Casa de Campo Resort in the Dominican Republic? Now is the opportunity to take advantage of an attractive offer. For $399/night, enjoy luxury room, breakfast, private golf cart, and golf (an added bonus: family members under 21 play free). More:



Stats to make you think



Interesting golf facts – thanks to the National Golf Foundation



– 205.5 courses closed in 2017 in America, while 15.5 courses opened



– Total number of golf facilities in America: 14,794 (with at least one nine-hole course)



– 35% of new golfers are women and 26% are non-Caucasian



– Boomers spend an average of $1,908 on golf equipment, while members of Gen X & Y average $1,262



A blockbuster



The hit comedy, The Hangover, is a trilogy of a foursome of friends who set out on a road trip to attend a bachelor party. Antics ensue and the series clearly resonated with moviegoers—grossing $1.4 billion in ticket sales. A buddies trip to Streamsong Resort with your foursome of friends will create your own set of memories, although probably not to the same degree of Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms on the big screen! Its three courses are recognized around the world as a great test of golf, but what many are surprised to learn is the wide ranging laundry list of activities the resort offers once you walk off the 18th green – including archery, skeet shooting, and bass fishing. More:


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