Hidden Creek Hole 4a (2)
March 2019 Industry Report

After a “tough” fourth quarter 2018, with golf equipment hard good sales (down 6%) and rounds played down (mostly due to wet weather), this year has started on a more normalized basis with expected incremental growth of 2%-3% for the golf industry as a whole.

Over the past decade, many private clubs have turned to non-member events to generate additional revenue to supplement dues. While outside weddings, tournaments, and wine festivals can prove highly profitable, the story from Beckett Golf Club in New Jersey, while extreme, is worth noting. Ask yourself, just how far is your management team willing to “bend the rules” for revenue.

Last summer the club hosted an outside golf tournament for Club Risque regulars. The promotion promised “Risque Girls and bartenders” for a “sexy round of golf with lovely lewd ladies offering encouragement, and maybe some sexy hijinks on the side.”

The television show, Inside Edition, determined the event to be worthy of coverage, signed up for the tournament, with plans to produce a salacious story.

A Risque Girls employee became so shaken by the revelation of Inside Edition’s plan, he suffered catastrophic cardiac arrest and became comatose. His family is suing Inside Edition and the club asserting that the club should have called in security personnel or the police to thwart the coverage.

Aloha from the Big Island of Hawaii

Last December, 32 teams from around the country competed for bragging rights and a $10,000 professional cash purse during the Mauna Kea Pro-Am, a Big Island tradition since 1972.  Golf professionals able to field a team with three paid members this December (3-8) receive room, golf, most meals, and airfare up to $900 – a value of $4,500. For an invitation, please email me at Mark@ExecutiveGolferMagazine.com.

Red versus blue

Golf is a discretional spend. Our sport benefits when consumers feel wealthier. The latest Gallup poll provides encouragement. In a survey conducted in mid-January (the stock market had already experienced a nice rebound), 7 out of 10 people think they will be better off financially next year. This is the first time since 2007 that at least 50% of those polled reported a generally positive state of current finances. Republicans (at 68%) were much more optimistic than Democrats (at 32%) about the future.

America’s First Resort

Over the course of America’s 241-year history, 45 presidents have governed the land. Since opening as “America’s First Resort” in 1766 (a decade before the signing of the Declaration of Independence), 23 presidents have visited The Homestead.

The Omni Homestead 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. The Cascades, where Sam Snead launched his career, 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.com.

Continued Expansion

The Dormie Network continues to expand with its business model of one initiation fee and monthly dues providing full membership privileges at its six private clubs which includes Victoria National, one of Golf Digest’s “America’s 100 Greatest Courses.” Current facilities owned by Dormie Network include Ballyhack in Virginia, ArborLinks in Nebraska, Briggs Ranch in Texas, Dormie Club in North Carolina, Victoria National in Indiana, and Hidden Creek Golf Club in New Jersey. Future plans include steadily adding up to a dozen highly rated golf clubs nationwide. More: www.DormieNetwork.com.

Tour Tested and Approved

The Corales Course at Puntacana Resort & Club will host a PGA Tour event this month. “I will find it of interest how the world’s best players will challenge themselves on my finishing three holes, nicknamed Devil’s Elbow.” – Tom Fazio. More: www.PuntaCana.com.


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