14th Green Kohanaiki
September 2019 Industry Report

Thinking of those effected and affected by Hurricane Dorian. Barring all the news headlines, I hope you had a pleasant Labor Day holiday. I thought I would begin my report with employment statistics:

The U.S. unemployment rate is 3.2% – this compares to 3.6% in China, 3.8% in the England, and 8.6% in Germany.

Our country has its lowest unemployment rate since 1969 with 156 million American’s working.

The median hourly rate in America, with all occupations combined, is $18.58 – this compares to $3.72 in China and $10.43 in Germany (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics).

That works out to an annual American salary of $38,646.

How does the golf industry stack up?

The average head golf professional salary (combing public, private, municipal, and resort) in the United States is $51,955 and for a golf course superintendent is $69,259 (according to Salary.com).

Home away from home

In order to diversify into other businesses in the late 1960s, Casa de Campo Resort was established on a pristine, oceanfront 7,000-acre parcel of land, equivalent in size to more than 9,000 football fields! Today, the popular resort destination is a self-contained sportsman’s paradise with 63 holes of Pete Dye golf, a 370-slip marina (largest in the Caribbean), a polo club, tennis pavilion, an artisan village, a 245-acre shooting club, beach club, equestrian center, 20 restaurants, and wide-ranging accommodations (all that include the use of a personal golf cart).

In an innovative twist, the resort is allowing fellow PGA and LPGA teaching golf professionals to utilize its Golf Learning Center (with two indoor Trackman studios and the most advanced instructional tools in the Caribbean) for member groups traveling to the resort this winter. More: www.casadecampo.com.do.

Are you up to the challenge?

In 1936, Pan Am began commercial flights between San Francisco and Hawaii. With limited seats available, passenger Richard Bradley paid the equivalent of more than $50,000 to be among the first passengers aboard a Martin M-130 Clipper. The flight schedule included one weekly round trip carrying only eight or nine passengers, since cargo and mail took priority. The allure of the Hawaiian Islands is undeniable. To put demand in perspective, today more than 35,000 passengers arrive daily in the Aloha State.

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.

Know your demographic

Many industry professionals who receive my monthly report have been in golf for years. Often, me included, think the best way to reach our target audience is unchanged since we entered the workforce. Next time you are considering an outside the box idea, consider this. Last year, the dating site Match had $1.7 billion in revenue. The dating website didn’t even exist when I met my wife, now our kids think of Match (and other dating sites as a natural way to meet). Next time your staff suggests a “preposterous” idea, take a deep breath, and say to yourself, “am I being too rigid considering this idea or have my years of experience taught me, no this won’t work.”

Like window shopping on 5th Avenue

I travel to New York City often for sales calls. One of my favorite things to do in the city is take evening jogs in either Central Park or down 5th Avenue. Why 5th Avenue? To gawk at the amazing window displays. It makes the three miles fly-by and usually stimulates a new idea for Executive Golfer. One golf community that is worth “gawking at” is Kohanaiki on the Big Island of Hawaii. Although few private clubs have access to capital to duplicate its amenities, it might give you good ideas.  Kohanaiki may never be repeated in America. With 450 acres of oceanfront property and over a mile and a half of shoreline, Kohanaiki has set the standard for luxury island living. Expansive amenities range from a Rees Jones golf course (with six oceanfront holes) to a Shay Zak designed, 67,000 square-foot clubhouse. The multi-level building includes an extensive curated Hawaiian art collection; a spa with four indoor/outdoor treatment rooms; a fitness center overlooking the Pacific Ocean; a 25-meter lap pool; and a 120-seat, open air restaurant. The lower level is dedicated to recreation with a four-lane bowling alley, a 21-seat movie theater, an arcade, a card lounge, and wine tasting rooms. The newest addition is a microbrewery. Intrigued? See: www.Kohanaiki.com.

Supporting Women’s Golf

Did you know? As a player, you can expect to hit a Blackjack once every 21 hands. When a dealer is showing an ace, there is a 31 percent chance the casino has Blackjack. French Lick Resort, in the hometown of Larry Bird, has Pete Dye and Donald Ross courses…and a full-service casino. Brisk business has the resort adding a new wing of accommodations. French Lick Resort’s history of competitive golf dates back to the 1924 PGA Championship. “This year it will host a Symetra Tour [supporting future LPGA greats] and the Senior LPGA Championship [recognizing the Tour’s legends]. More: www.FrenchLick.com.


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