Clearly, I am an outsider. Not by choice but by the barriers and walls the historical insiders create to protect their fiefdom.
My preference is to work in a cooperative environment as part of a team for the betterment of the golf industry. For those individuals that serve as obstacles, I respectfully request that they stand aside. Lacking that I tend to plow through the challenges faced. That is my DNA. As the legendary Texas football coach Darrell Royal said, “I am going to dance with the lady that brought me.”
Thus, for those that I think I challenge the status quo too much, so be it. I perceive those of that mindset as part of the problem, not part of the solution.
In our August newsletter, Ed Getherall, Senior Project Director of the National Golf Foundation unsubscribed from our newsletter. Ed is a really good guy. Have enjoyed having lunch with him on several occasions.
However, I am baffled.
Why would an individual whose full-time duty as part of the NGF is to help golf course owners improve their operational performance not have the intellectual curiosity to explore how he might better fulfill that responsibility via our Predictive Index or Municipal/Daily Fee Benchmarks research?
The lack of intellectual curiosity is epidemic throughout the golf industry. It is something that I don’t suffer from. Here are eight things that my intellectual curiosity questions about the golf industry.
Reflection #1: The National Golf Foundation is the “Chamber of Commerce” of the golf industry. The vast majority of their musings reflect the golf industry in a light where growth and prosperity awaits. To their credit, they are masters of the “positive spin.” Why don’t they publish their research reports with a confidence factor and margin of error?
Reflection #2: Why does the Consulting Division of the NGF issue reports that are operationally focused on the nits and nats and rarely address the more important strategic and tactical issues truthfully reporting that their clients have little chance of long-term success? Would it be because such a strategic analysis would be contradictory to the positive message of the NGF?
Reflection #3: KPMG spun off on January 1, 2006, the KPMG Golf Industry Practice, now known as Global Golf Advisors due to potential conflicts of interest. Should the National Golf Foundation spin off its consulting division due to the inherent conflicts of interest which may exist?
Reflection #4: The NGCOA holds a highly successful and widely praised TECHCON Conference in Las Vegas on September 27 -28, 2017. Jay Karen, Executive Director, deserves great credit for envisioning this event. If the goal of the NGCOA is to advance the economic interests of golf courses, in an event where the majority of the costs are fixed, why would they create a cap of 250 attendees that limits the exposure to the event and their ultimate profit?
Reflection #5: The very talented Jeff Calderwood, Executive Director of the National Golf Course Owners Association of Canada assumes on October 2 the dual role of Executive Director of the Canadian Golf Course Superintendents Association. Citing economies of scale in an interview attributed to the general malaise in the golf industry, is his assuming new responsibilities an unconscious message that after his superlative efforts at the NGCOA Canada, educating the vast majority of golf course owners regarding improved business practices is a fruitless task and change is too formidable a foe? Interestingly, the Canadian Golf Course Superintendents Association serves daily fee, municipal, private clubs, and resorts. The NGCOA Canada only membership comprises daily fee golf courses. Is there a conflict of interest in executing his responsibilities to both?
Reflection #6: What doesn’t the PGA of America who has a modest educational program consolidate its educational efforts with the LPGA who have a rudimentary educational program with the goal of improving the acumen of all working in the golf course industry. Is it because the vast majority of PGA Members are underemployed or unemployed and expanding the quality of the labor pool, though it would serve the golf industry better, would not serve the PGA membership which is, in essence, a large labor union?
Reflection #7: Why is the USGA mandating the consolidation of various state men’s and women’s golf associations through relicensing effective at the end of this year and revising its golf score posting procedures (handicaps) to strengthen its monopoly on that segment of the industry?
Reflection #8: Despite the great efforts to diversify golf by golf and age, the overwhelming majority of people I see at a golf course (visited 42 courses in September) are indicative of the cartoon below representing senior golfers: