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June 2019 Industry Report

I thought I would start my monthly industry report with a lesson on Economics 101. It’s hard to miss the constant debate on President Trump’s use of tariffs on China. Economists believe the average American family will pay an extra $831 post tariff for the same basket of goods. I think the impact will be much more muted. For example, the 2019 F-150 truck (the No. 1 selling vehicle in America) has an MSRP of $44,510. Assuming Ford pays a 25% tariff on $600 of imported steel for the vehicle, the cost increases by $150 ($600 X 25% = $150), not by $11,127 ($44,510 X 25% = $11,127).

To put that in perspective, our economy is much more impacted by oil prices than tariffs. A bump in gas prices from $2.50/gallon to $3.50/gallon for a dual income household results in an increase cost of $1,550 for a couple.

While consumer confidence may be dented in the short term (possibly impacting private club membership sales), tariffs will likely have little impact on a club’s operational budget. Labor, food, and supplies for golf courses (three of the biggest line items in a budget) are mostly domestically sourced. One could argue cost pressures may actually decrease if the economy slows because of macro-economic headwinds.

Tour Tested & Player Approved

The Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort was an ambitious project. A Caterpillar D-10 bulldozer was utilized to contour rugged terrain. The 230,000-pound monster of a machine has the capability to level a small house in a single pass. An army of dump trucks, running 12 hours per day for 18 months, was needed to grade the land. Incredibly, 60,000 pounds of seed, seven miles of cart paths, and 250,000 man-hours were required during construction. Next month, the resort will host a Symetra Tour event (supporting future LPGA greats) and the Senior LPGA Championship in October (recognizing the Tour’s legends). More: www.FrenchLick.com.

Rules of the Road

We’ve all seen golfers standing on the back of a golf cart. This familiar scenario proved tragic last summer during a company outing held at Iowa’s Mason City Country Club. A suit has now been filed against the driver of the cart, the company that sponsored the outing, and the country club for negligence. In our litigious society, it’s important to remind staff on a regular basis why certain rules are in place. An alert employee just might prevent a legal situation that costs your club thousands of dollars and countless hours of aggravation.  

A Notable Accomplishment

Golfweek raters ranked Streamsong Black (No. 2), Streamsong Red (No. 3), and Streamsong Blue (No. 4) as best public courses you can play in the state of Florida. Quite an accomplishment considering there are more than 1,000 choices in the state. Did you know? Father’s Day was founded in Spokane, Washington, at the YMCA in 1910. On June 16th, join fellow golfers for Streamsong Resort’s inaugural Family Cup tournament. More: www.StreamsongResort.com.

America’s First Resort

Since opening as “America’s First Resort” in 1766 (a decade before the signing of the Declaration of Independence), The Homestead has been an outdoor haven of activities

with 36 holes of golf, horse rides, and miles of hiking trails. The resort offers two of the finest mountain courses on the East Coast. The appropriately named Old Course was completed in 1892 and is distinguished as home of the nation’s oldest first tee in continuous use. It’s short by today’s standards, but small greens are its defense. The Cascades, where accuracy is a requirement, has the honor of being ranked among “America’s 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses” by Golf Digest and the “No. 1 Course You Can Play in Virginia” by Golfweek. More: www.TheOmniHomestead.

Statistics to Make you Think

According to the National Golf Foundation…

– 33.5 million Americans played golf (both on-course and off-course) last year. This includes 24.2 million people who played on a golf course and another 9.3 million who participated exclusively in off-course golf activities at places like driving ranges, indoor golf simulators, or golf entertainment venues like Topgolf and Drive Shack.

– 2.6 million Americans played golf for the first time last year, a high water mark for the industry. By comparison, 2.4 million Americans played for the first time back in 2000, when Tiger mania was in full force.

AAA Five-Diamond and Forbes Five-Star Award Winner

The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort has more seaside holes than any other course in North America—10 alongside the Atlantic Ocean with the other eight running parallel to the water. Not resting on its laurels, each of Kiawah Island Golf Resort’s five courses (designed by Jack Nicklaus, Tom Fazio, Gary Player, Clyde Johnston, and Pete Dye) have all been improved during a multi-year renovation project. More: www.KiawahResort.com.

Tennis Elbow Meets Devil’s Elbow

Puntacana Resort & Club is home to one of the Caribbean’s ultimate beach and golf experiences. Amenities abound with access to 45 holes of championship golf (home to an annual PGA TOUR event), miles of white sand beaches, tennis courts, a world-class spa, endless water sports, and gourmet restaurants. Luxury accommodations include the AAA Five Diamond Tortuga Bay, The Westin Puntacana Resort & Club, and home and apartment rentals at The Estates Experience. “The finishing holes on Corales are nicknamed ‘Devil’s Elbow’ for a reason. They hug the water and the prevailing sea breeze can prove vexing. I was standing on the 16th green and said to myself, ‘you’ve got to do something that’s tournament winning.’ I accomplished my mission.” – Graeme McDowell, 2019 winner of the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship. More: www.PuntaCana.com.  

America’s Premier Wilderness Resort

When Johnny Morris, founder of Bass Pro Shops and noted conservationist, established Big Cedar Lodge, his objective was to create a tribute to the magnificence of nature, preserve the solidarity of the area’s history, and build a place to celebrate the joy of family. The 4,600-acre lakeside retreat (almost 50 times the size of Disneyland) connects guests with a variety of nature-based activities. Existing golf amenities include a Jack Nicklaus Signature par-3 course, a Gary Player short course, and Tom Fazio and Coore/Crenshaw championship courses. Payne’s Valley, designed by Tiger Woods, opens for preview play later this year. More: www.BigCedarLodge.com.

 

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