2015 NRPA – The Winning Playbook for Golf Courses – JJ Keegan+

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The Winning Playbook for Golf Take-Aways:

  1.  Why do you have a golf course?  Every golf course is unique.  What is the emotional intangible element that attracts golfers to your course and creates loyalty?
  2. There are 6 numbers that determine the financial potential of a golf course – you need to know them or you are operating with vision or direction.
  3. Weather is a controllable element.   License Weather Trends International Software for $350 per year.
  4. Technology is the least utilized resources at a golf course.  Email is essential.  Forgot social media until you segment your database.   Tee time reservations should be on your home page – think Hertz, United, Marriott.
  5. PGA Performance Trak provides 50 benchmarks to compare the financial performance of your golf course to your competitors.
  6. The golf course is a living organism.   Capital reserves should be created annually exceeding $200,000 for the course, equipment and clubhouse.
  7. There are 9 steps on the “assembly line of golf.”  The lowest paid employees most often define the player’s experience.
  8. Annual customer surveys and secret shopping are two essential tools to create value for golfers on a foundation that optimizes the financial potential of your golf course.
DownloadNRPA - 9 16 2015 - JJKeegan+ - Session 280Additional resources:
The Business of Golf – book series:  a primer and a tome for seasoned professionals that documents the winning formula
The Resources Library:    200+ resources covering 25 essential disciplines to efficiently manage a golf course
The Webinar Series:  9 one hour on line training classes to create a strategic plan for  your golf course(s).

Finally, a thought on “Women in Golf.”  One of the attendees at the session wrote on the NRPA Poll that I conducted:

“Where are the women golfers in the presentation?  The references to businessmen and videos with gentlemen” references and Asian staff video.  The only female reference were referred to as “cart girl” and female dancers in the Asian video.  Good data, but wanted to see more diverse representation to grow the game.   Even closing video of sports videos –  no women in all sports scenes.”

Here is my thought.  The agenda, as printed in the trade show catalog, highlighted that this session was to address macro economically the critical path to ensure fiscal prosperity for a golf course.

Women are an important, but a small part of the financial engine, in golf.   There are 5.3 million female golfers in the United States comprising 21.5% of golfers.  The median household income of a female golfer is $91,400.  The average age is 42.0 and they play 15.4 rounds per year.   Growth in this segment, in the short-term, will not produce measurable financial results.  Long-term women are a vital component of the solution.

Further, growth strategies to increase female participation was included in the presentation made by Richard Singer of the National Golf Foundation at the NRPA.  It was not included in the “Winning Playbook for Golf” section to avoid duplication of content in the two sponsored NRPA seminars regarding golf.

As for the videos, highlighting the thrill moments in sport movies was solely designed to motivate the audience that it is now “their time” to achieve greatness – as Herb Brooks stated to the 1980 US Hockey Team.  For an individual to feel that their gender should have been equally featured, I believe is to miss the entire point.

My reaction is that as a society we have gotten overly sensitive to unintended slights and where they may unfortunately occur, we trumpet the injustice far beyond reason.  To amplify, the Asian staff video was made by Koreans for their  members and is reflective of their culture.   To fail to grasp that is their culture and to categorically reject the content reflects to me we are not open to seeing divergent viewpoints to construct a consensus as of what is proper here in the U.S.

We spend so much time focusing on what is wrong and criticizing those who are trying to make a difference by crafting a positive agenda on which progress can be made.   Thus, I believe, that is one of the reasons why the golf industry continues to financially struggle.  Perhaps Theodore Roosevelt had it correct stated,

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.



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