Perspective


The Distance Question

Posted by on 8:22 pm in The Posts | 0 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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Stay Woke, Golf Course Operators

Posted by on 12:49 pm in The Posts | 3 comments

One of our members recently sent me a copy of an article written by the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board (“Google-Hotel Travelopoly”) about Google and hotels not playing fairly with online travel agencies (OTAs), such as Expedia, Travelocity, etc. Here is the gist from the WSJ perspective (my comments in parentheses), and please stick with this until the end. There is a message for the golf industry. Hotels are complaining that OTAs, which make about 20% commission on each room booked, have begun squeezing profits from hotels, due in...

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Roman Gods and NGCOA

Posted by on 12:18 pm in The Posts | 1 comment

I was a huge fan of Greek and Roman mythology when I was a kid. Clash of the Titans was my favorite movie, and I loved translating the Aeneid in high school Latin class. I know, I should’ve gotten out more. But I was on the golf team, so there’s that! Each year at this time, I remember the lesson of the Roman god, Janus, who was the god of beginnings and transitions and had two faces: One looking to the past, one to the future. As we ring in the New Year, it’s a chance for all of us to reflect on how our year went—personally and...

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Data – How New Numbers Can Change Our Industry’s Direction

Posted by on 9:39 pm in The Posts | 0 comments

Data. The word tends to elicit one of two responses out of small business owners. One is: “Give me more! Can’t get enough of it!” The other: “Who’s got time for that?” On most days in the golf industry, it feels like the latter faction has the majority. And I get it—owners and operators are busy people, taking care of customers, tending to employees, watching the cash flow closely, and trying to make sure the product is as good as it can be. It’s hard to imagine time in the day to look at data on rounds, revenue, capacity, RevPATT and how...

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Killing Dissatisfaction

Posted by on 1:00 pm in The Posts | 5 comments

When I was CEO of Select Registry, a portfolio of more than 300 upscale inns, we administered a secret-shopper, 200-point inspection of the guest stay. We knew a thing or two about the customer experience and what guests liked, loved, tolerated and hated. One thing I learned was the power of “dissatisfaction triggers,” which are arguably more impactful to the experience than those things people loved and wanted to experience. Examples might be finding a hair in the bathtub or being treated rudely by staff. We had a lot of first-timers stay at...

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Fixing Malcolm Gladwell’s Shank

Posted by on 11:50 am in The Posts | 6 comments

I saw Malcolm Gladwell deliver a keynote speech at an annual meeting of the American Society of Association Executives years ago. He was very insightful. I read Blink. I read Tipping Point. I read Outliers. I’ve enjoyed how he analyzes the world and its intricacies, patterns and phenomena from interesting points of view. After hearing his recent podcast episode of Revisionist History, in which he attempts to turn “golf” into a pejorative word, my admiration is wavering. I encourage readers to listen to the podcast.  For someone who...

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Crossing the Threshold at the Course

Posted by on 3:04 pm in The Posts | 1 comment

So, I did something this past weekend I haven’t done in 10 years. I went on a guys’ golf trip. Seven of us played 72 holes over three days in North Carolina’s Sandhills. There was beer-drinking. There was joke-telling. There might have been a little gambling. And I might have strung together three rounds in the 70s, something I’ve never done before. But, of course, the “industry guy” in me was making observations and mental notes about the golf operations I was experiencing. I want to share something I admired about two of the courses I...

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“Booking” Golf’s Revival

Posted by on 3:53 pm in The Posts | 0 comments

Bookstores. Small ones, independently owned and operated. Remember those? You know, the ones you would walk into and feel the weight of history’s greatest authors looking down upon you from the shelves, while you looked around in awe at all you didn’t know. A place where you could browse for hours. As a kid, it was a special treat to visit Oxford Books on Pharr Road in Atlanta. When I earned my driver’s license in 1990, I would occasionally venture into the metro area from the suburbs and go to the coolest places, including Oxford. When...

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Presidential Golf

Posted by on 7:12 pm in The Posts | 1 comment

What do Presidents Taft, Wilson, Harding, Coolidge, Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama and Trump all have in common? They’re arguably the full spectrum of conservative to liberal, but they all played golf while in office. Unapologetically, actually. Wilson logged more than a thousand rounds while serving as Commander in Chief! Why on earth do presidents get slammed for doing what we all know is so good? My theory is most Americans—and the media who dishes up the criticism—don’t understand the...

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