December 2018 Industry Report

Are you marriage material?

People in relationships spend more money on special occasions (birthdays/Valentine’s Day) if they believe the person they are dating is marriage material. For example, couples spend an average of $155 on birthday gifts if they see marriage as being in the cards versus $99 if it’s unlikely. The same holds true for Christmas, where the disparity is $166 when marriage is likely and $129 when it’s not.


During your next sales meeting, consider a roundtable discussion on how to steer your customers into thinking you are “marriage material.” Building an authentic relationship solely with existing clients can result in a higher spend rate of up to 23%. If your client considers you a “short term date” they are likely to spend miserly and be less engaging.


An American Icon

Two years ago, The Omni Homestead Resort celebrated 250 years as America's first resort. The resort’s Old Course (appropriately named in my mind) was completed in 1892 and is distinguished as home of the nation’s oldest first tee in continuous use. For more information visit:


By the numbers

Special thanks to Golf Disputes Resolution ( for this interesting tax case.


Like many golf clubs, Losantiville Country Club in Ohio hosts many non-member events to generate additional revenue.


During a 14-year period, gross profits for non-member events ranged from $79,440 to $297,074 per year (calculated by subtracting direct expenses from gross receipts). However, once the indirect expenses – consisting of the club’s general operating costs –were factored, the results were far different, with losses ranging from $24,482 to $180,036.


The court wasn’t impressed. The verdict: “Demonstrating profit motive without profitability proves difficult. Such taxpayers generally must show that their intent to profit was thwarted somehow. When an organization is consistently unprofitable, even tougher. Although courts review holistically all relevant facts and circumstances when deciding whether an activity is a business or hobby, a long history of consistent and unexplained losses can overwhelm all other factors. Losantiville never adduced any evidence that it attempted to stem its flood of losses, or that it expected to eventually profit.”


The end result? Not only did the court disallow the loss deductions claimed by the club, but it also upheld the assessment of penalties.


The Caribbean’s Garden of Eden

Fifty years ago, partners Frank Rainieri and Theodore Kheel purchased 15,000 acres of Dominican jungle with the dream of establishing an unrivaled resort destination. Their hard work and tenacity paid dividends. What started as a dirt runway with a handful of beachfront shacks has matured into a worldwide vacation hot spot that now welcomes 10,000 vacationers per day with flights from 28 countries. In March, the PGA Tour returns to Puntacana Resort & Club for the Corales Championship on its oceanfront Tom Fazio design. More:


Follow your passion

Over the past decade, the drumbeat of private clubs adding non-golf amenities and family-friendly activities has grown louder. Often, facilities are forced to juggle scarce capital when evaluating which member enhancements to green light, often to the detriment to the game of golf itself. In a golf market as large as America’s (with an estimated 25 million players), there’s a niche in the marketplace to serve avid golfers solely looking for a quality, pure-play day on the links.


Dormie Network, with five highly regarded private golf clubs under its umbrella, established a mission statement to deliver the highest caliber golf experience. Current facilities include Ballyhack in Virginia, ArborLinks in Nebraska, Briggs Ranch in Texas, Dormie Club in North Carolina, and Victoria National (a Golf Digest Top 100 course in America) in Indiana. Future plans include steadily adding up to a dozen highly rated golf clubs nationwide. More:


Closer than you think

A British colony since 1707, Bermuda is still a territory of the United Kingdom to this day. Many of its customs, from driving on the left side of the road to cricket being a popular sport, can be traced back to its English roots. Located only 650 miles east of North Carolina, Bermuda is an international getaway with a pleasant four-season climate. With six courses, Bermuda has one of the highest concentrations of golf per square mile in the world. Two of the island’s standout choices to play are Mid Ocean Club, a classic C.B. Macdonald design with surprising elevation change, and Port Royal Golf Course, ranked one of the world’s best public courses with 13 ocean-view holes. More:

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