Perspective


Are OTTAs Golf’s Disintermediaries?

Posted by on 1:05 pm in The Posts | 4 comments

“I don’t believe most golf courses need the OTTAs’ marketing services to meet the natural demand for golf in our marketplace, nor do I think they stimulate incremental demand for golf.” Wow. Now that I read that a month after the print dried on the last issue of Golf Business, it sounds rather harsh. I think it’s because I’ve become friendly with a couple individuals trying to make a go of it in the Online Tee Time Agency world, despite my skepticism, and I don’t feel good about using my bully pulpit in ways that could damper anyone’s success...

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Why GOLFPASS May be the Worst Thing for Golf Courses Since the Bartered Tee Time

Posted by on 9:58 pm in The Posts | 18 comments

While there are promising indicators and progressive things happening in golf that cause me to be quite bullish about the long term prospects of our industry, the business of running golf courses in America – by and large – has been a slog for the past 15 years. The supply and demand curve has been moving in the wrong direction since before the Great Recession. Most experts agree the number of course closures will continue to far outpace course openings for the next decade. If you compare the average price of a round of golf ($38...

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A Year in View

Posted by on 4:55 pm in The Posts | 4 comments

I love a good metaphor. As someone who gets to tell the story of our industry to the media and other audiences, I love a well-placed, well-delivered metaphor. Each January in this column, I like to pause and share what the recent 12 months have been like for NGCOA, and allude to what’s coming. Metaphorically speaking, what’s in our rear view mirror, and what do we see in our windshield? And I love that clever piece of optimism about why the rear view mirror is small and the windshield so big. I feel the same about NGCOA and the golf industry...

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Think Transformation

Posted by on 2:06 pm in The Posts | 3 comments

The 2018 Golf Business TechCon recently wrapped up, and naturally my mind is on the future of the industry. At the event, we had an evening of fun at Las Vegas Topgolf. It was a typical Thursday night, and the place was jam-packed. NGCOA member Debbie Jeffries, owner of RiverRidge Golf Complex in Eugene, Oregon, shared an interesting observation with me about the patrons at Topgolf. She noticed all the “golfers” playing in the bays were deeply engaged in the metrics and data being captured, such as swing speed, ball flight, distance to the...

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There’s a Much Better Story to be Told Here

Posted by on 3:28 pm in The Posts | 4 comments

The Charleston Post & Courier recently ran an article about issues in the golf industry, and the role NGCOA plays in telling the story of golf, especially to our friends in Washington. Shortly after the article appeared online, someone Tweeted a reply that golf should do a better job telling our story. I couldn’t disagree. But then again, who is “golf” in this context? When speaking to the press or those outside of golf about the issues we face in the industry and the opportunities we have to grow the sport, I often use this same...

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Pinehurst Gives Permission

Posted by on 11:18 am in The Posts | 3 comments

For the second year in a row, I survived the “buddies golf trip” to the Pinehurst area of North Carolina with 11 other guys looking to have fun and spend money. What could go wrong? I’m happy to report that nothing did. We had a wonderful time, and I am compelled to share two things from my experience. The 12 of us played three traditional rounds of golf at some of the wonderful public courses in the area. Then we squeezed in some late afternoon play at the new short course at Pinehurst Resort called “The Cradle.” Hopefully you’ve read about...

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Pride of Ownership

Posted by on 3:12 pm in The Posts | 4 comments

Last month, I made my annual pilgrimage to a member’s property to spend a full day shadowing an owner and witnessing the daily challenges of course operations. My objective is to gain greater understanding and sympathy for our rank-and-file member, and in turn, bring those insights back to the NGCOA office. Upon my early-morning arrival at Pine Ridge Golf Course in Paris, Texas, I had a seriously scary feeling. I knew Cathy Harbin, owner and operator, had a morning outing scheduled, and the sky was looking ominous. It was a visceral reminder...

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Ego and equalizer. Overcoming obstacles to happier golf.

Posted by on 12:39 am in The Posts | 3 comments

In last month’s column, I opined that one of golf’s “distance problems” is that many golfers are playing from tee boxes that are too difficult for them. Or maybe restated, if they played tees that offered, say, a 6,000-yard experience instead of a 6,600-yard experience, they might find it more enjoyable and the round a little speedier. And golf writer John Gaughan recently penned a wonderful piece about aging and moving up a set of tees, and the joys of discovering the golf course in a new way and the challenges it brings. I think there are...

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The Distance Question

Posted by on 8:22 pm in The Posts | 2 comments

The recently released USGA and R&A report on driving distance sure drew a lot of attention from all corners of the golf universe. The conversation seems to immediately go to the question — should we dial back the ball as a “fix” to hitting the ball too far? In my opinion, that is the wrong question to be asking when it comes to most of the nation’s golf course operators who open their doors and turn on the lights every morning. For sure, the best golfers in the world hitting the ball incrementally longer as time goes by poses a challenge...

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Golf Course Operator’s Bill of Rights

Posted by on 3:07 pm in The Posts | 0 comments

It’s amazing to me that 227 years after the final ratification of the American Bill of Rights, we still wholly rely upon them as we navigate the trials and tribulations of living together in society. There is something evergreen about the specific rights that James Madison codified as the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution, which were written in part to address rights that were either overlooked in the Constitution or that needed to be clarified due to the ongoing debate about federal and state authorities. While our issues in golf...

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