Reclaiming the Game

Posted By on Aug 7, 2019 | 27 comments

Every town in America has dead retail space. You know what I’m talking about. The place that used to be a Walgreens. It’s been sitting empty for months – or years – with the “For Sale or Lease” sign in overgrown landscaping in the parking lot. Every time I see these vacant spaces, I think of golf. I think of the burgeoning “golf entertainment” business. I think of places like Beyond Golf Bar + Kitchen in La Vista, Nebraska. Or Venue on Main in Columbia, South Carolina. Places where the general public comes to play, eat and drink, or where the serious golfer can practice or play some amazing virtual golf on high-end simulators. Beyond Golf, by the way, has been doing this 10 years!

And then I think about owners and operators of the legacy businesses – the “real” golf courses.  I think about how they perpetually look for top line growth in a relatively flat-demand environment. They do this through “revenue management” and marginal price adjustments to tee times, or maybe new events and outings. It’s tough finding new revenues in a legacy business. But, what if course owners and operators started to think about their businesses as something that could exist beyond the acreage they’ve been managing for years? What if the owners and operators of the legacy businesses went “off campus” and into those dead retail spaces? What if they breathed new life into those spaces with fun, food, beverage and golf?

Think about it. The owners of these dead retail spots are probably more than tired of never receiving a rent check. I bet they’re ready to strike a good deal with just about anyone. Imagine five, eight or 10 bays of simulators on the inside perimeter, with bar and food in the center.  People of all ages, banging balls, laughing, having fun and paying an hourly rental fee. Who better to operate such a thing than the owners, managers and golf professionals of America’s existing golf courses? It’s a far stretch for some random entrepreneur to get into this business, but it’s barely an arm’s length reach for people who have been running courses for years.

The cross-pollination possibilities excite me the most. The golf course could promote their “off campus” business as a place to go at night or when it’s raining. A place where you bring groups for an hour or two of fun. A second location where the PGA professionals set up shop to teach lessons and engage those groups. A place where the high school team could practice, and then come back with their families on the weekends. And the folks who come through the off-campus location learn all about the golf course, how to make a tee time, how to transition to the green-grass experience, etc.

With a little gumption and a lot of understanding of lease agreements, code requirements for this kind of space, and access to people with an enthusiasm for the game of golf, this could be a reality. The legacy golf courses out there don’t have to lose out to someone else building and benefiting from “golf entertainment.” If they reach out their arms and grab it, existing course operators can be the ones who benefit (and who can probably run them better than anyone).

American Golf is doing it with Drive Shack. ClubCorp is doing it with Big Shots. Even a muni in Helena, Montana, is in on the action! Why can’t the Steve Graybills of the world do it with the Foxchase Golf brand? Steve and his family run a very robust public golf operation a few miles outside of Ephrata, Pennsylvania. I bet there’s a 5,000-square-foot dead retail space somewhere near downtown Ephrata itching for this. Imagine, if you will: “Foxchase Golf on Main.”  I’m looking at you, Steve!

On a related note, NGCOA members save on GOLFZON simulators, if you’re looking to get into the golf entertainment revenue business!  Click here to find GOLFZON in our Smart Buy family of partners.


  1. Interesting article. I encourage my fellow NGCOA members to give us a call if we can help them understand the indoor golf business.

    Post a Reply
  2. This is a great thing, I think everyone feels this information is very valuable, thank you

    Post a Reply
  3. All things considered, it depends. Is it accurate to say that you will take every necessary step yourself, or contract another person? Do you have a specific house as a top priority, or would you say you are simply investigating?

    Post a Reply
  4. The forum you shared is wonderful and very meaningful, I hope it will be implemented widely.

    Post a Reply
  5. The shopping center is found southeast of the intersection of Interstate 494 and Minnesota State Highway, north of the Minnesota River and is over the interstate from the Minneapolis-St.

    Post a Reply
  6. This blog is definitely entertaining additionally factual. I have picked up helluva helpful tips out of this amazing blog. I ad love to visit it again and again. Thanks!
    gmail login

    Post a Reply
  7. Thanks for Nice and Informative Post. This article is really contains lot more information about This Topic

    Post a Reply
  8. Amazingly written article. I really liked this. Keep sharing these types of articles.

    Post a Reply
  9. All of the information shared by you is unique for me and I know you have many different ideas to share with us.

    Post a Reply
  10. I haven’t any idea about these things…
    This seems to be very interesting.
    Really informative and inoperative,

    Post a Reply
  11. Usually, I do not read article on blogs, but I wish to say that this write-up very pressured me to try and do so! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thank you, very nice article.

    Post a Reply

    Ultra Luxurious villas coming in sector 150 Noida with the panoramic views from every rooftop.
    Private movie screenings in a basement home theatre all your own with a provision of bar and
    a hall attached
    9 hole golf course completed.

    Post a Reply
  13. At its core, Reclaiming the Game is an argument for re-establishing athletics as a means of fulfilling — instead of undermining — the educational missions of our colleges and universities.

    Post a Reply
  14. Information is pretty good and impressed me a lot. This article is quite in-depth and gives a good overview of the topic

    Post a Reply
  15. free robux generator is the best online gaming accessories and characters to get the better gaming experience to the game. With the access to the free robux you are capable of getting the robux generated and enjoy the free gaming.

    Post a Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *