Perspective


Pinehurst Gives Permission

Posted by on 11:18 am in The Posts | 2 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 | 2 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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Stay Woke, Golf Course Operators

Posted by on 12:49 pm in The Posts | 5 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 | 2 comments

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 | 8 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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