Reader Feedback, The Business of Golf – What Are You Thinking?

“I finished reading your book last week and have been meaning to send you a note of congratulations. What a great book for every golf professional or anyone running a golf property in our business! It should be a required book for all PGA members and apprentices. I would have enjoyed a piece like this years ago when I first entered the golf business in 1975. The fundamentals illustrated could be used in any business, but certainly apply to the golf business. I assure you I will use the book as a reference almost daily and certainly during my staff and mentoring meetings. Congratulations on a tremendous resource guide to the business of golf.”

~Steve Friedlander, General Manager and PGA Professional, Pelican Hills Golf Course

“Your book is a very fun, informative read. Thanks so much for taking the time to write such a thoughtful, informative and valuable resource for the golf industry. It’s easy to see that your insights are right on-target, but actual application in the golf industry is sorely lacking. I’m planning on using a lot of your book for our strategic planning session for next year, and integrating some of the stuff you have into our own business model. Your book is a “must read” for anyone in the golf business. I can understand why Clemson wants to use it in the classroom. The knowledge the PGM students will gain from this exposure will be a HUGE benefit to them as they embark on a career in the golf industry.”

~Del Ratcliffe, PGA, President, Ratcliffe Golf Services, Inc.

“I just wanted to tell you how impressed I am with the book and all the time and effort you put towards the project. Obviously a labor of love and many years of dedicated service to the business.”

~John Cannon, President, Sunbelt Golf Corporation, Alabama’s Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail

“Now that it is winter, I have finally had a chance to read your book. In two days I am on page 205 and I can’t put it down. Even though it is not geared so much to private clubs, I can’t begin to tell you how much I am getting out of reading it. I am one of the fifteen Master Club Managers worldwide through CMAA and I have over 5 pages of “take-away” ideas and I am only 2/3 through your book. Bottom lineEveryone in the industry should read this book, new managers in the industry, seasoned veterans, golf pro’s, controllers, and superintendents! Even the board of directors could benefit.”

~Paul Kornfeind III MCM, CCE, General Manager/COO, Tippecanoe Lake Country Club

“I lent Frank Jemsek a copy of your book. He took it to Florida and called me the other day to tell me how much he was enjoying it!”

~Nick Mokelke, CCM, CCE, General Manager, Cog Hill Golf Club

“As a private club industry veteran, I have managed two golf courses (Nicklaus and Norman design) and served as project manager for the development of two others (one a Palmer design). I wish I had Keegan’s book prior to those positions. Not only does he thoroughly explain the business of golf, but offers a proven methodology for operating a course efficiently and profitably. Using his long experience as a golf operations consultant, the author offers real life examples of how to identify the key issues in an under-performing golf course and how to maximize the financial return of the business.”

~Ed Rehkopf

“Have been studying your book. I think it is excellent!”

~Tony Bubenas, CGCS, Golf Supervisor, Pierce County Parks & Recreation Services Dept.

“A great book for sure! I am planning on using sections in the book for a class I teach at Kansas State University Professional Club Management. Very worthwhile statistics for students to ponder over. Keep up the good work.”

~David W. Gourlay CGCS, CCM, Colbert Hills

“Your book is a valuable resource and will pay significant dividends—not only in money made but in less time I will need to spend educating board members on why I do what I do. Your research and experience will do that job for me. First thing was to deprogram the Exec. Dir., Board Members, and Golf Professional concerning key performance indicators. For 5 years, they had been hammered with, and finally convinced that, “Revenue per Round” was the only indicator to be considered. Additionally, I used the information mid-July to demonstrate that I believed price cutting had gone too far, as evidenced by a declining “RevPar/RevPatt”.”

~Allen Parkes, Traditions at Chevy Chase, CGCS Supt/PGA Professional, General Manager

“I have been reading it as a textbook. I am half way through and plan on reading it a number of times. I will recommend this book to anyone in the business of golf.”

~Mike Miller, PGA Head Golf Professional, Indian Ridge Country Club

“I talked so much about your approach to the Golf Business. My book is in my office…dog eared, underlined, copied and quoted…so much the Regional VP asked to borrow it… I said “buy your own” and keep it with you and recommend to all the properties to read it! I’m a major fan…. You are my OPRAH!”

~Kate Minnock, Director of Sales/Marketing/Events, The Golf Club at Cypress Head

“This book comes at a time to me where I can benefit from everything and anything that can educate me about the game and its business.”

~Horacio De Leon, Jr., Asst. City Manager, City of Laredo, Texas

“I am a member of Olympic Hills Golf Club in Eden Prairie, MN. I was Vice President of the Board and Chairman of the Finance Committee for 3 years. Just prior to assuming the role of President I was asked by the owners to assist them evaluate the business opportunities. The need arose as a result of the ownership transferring to the next generation of family members. I found your book to be very helpful. I agree with many of your observations on the industry.”

~Peter L. Eaton

“Congratulations on the book! It is full of good information.”

~Cathy Jo Johnson, formerly Golf Courses at Incline Village Director of Golf, PGA\LPGA member

“I am reading this book along with Joe Fragala our new General Manager. I am learning a lot in this book so far. It is a “textbook” for depicting what successful golf operations are doing and what struggling ones must do. Jim’s book says statistically that 90% of our business will come from a distance of 10 miles or less. I simply can’t see how building golf villas would ever be justifiable for only 10 % additional business. The math just doesn’t work for me.”

~Bob Griffioen, Owner, Island Hills Golf Club

“The book looks at the business of golf and not just about managing the landscaping of the course. It is well written with several checklists to support the business side of a golf course.”

~Rocky Lippold, General Manager, Eagle Knoll Golf Course

“Thought the book was great. Mainly used it as a tool to solidify my long-standing beliefs on operational guidance. “

~Scott Hiles, Director of Operations, Stony Plain Golf Course, Alberta, Canada

“I know you are a leader in this forward thinking golf movement and appreciate your thoughts as well as the first of its kind textbook.”

~Trevor Tam, Coyote Hills Golf Course

“We found your book and bought one copy and are now buying another to let others in leadership positions read what the “the business of golf” really is about. I have read it and highly recommended we use it as our “text book” to guide the club’s direction and policies”

~Lindsay Harp, Greens Chairperson, Crossings Golf Club

Industry, Trade & Research Groups, Vendors

“You have toiled very hard and developed a valuable tool for golf owners and operators that will assist them to run more stable and profitable businesses.”

~Mike Tinkey, Former Deputy CEO, NGCOA

“Very excited about the content of your book. It covers a lot of aspects that we deal with on a daily basis.”

~Tibbe Bakker, European Golf Course Owners Association

“I found your book very enlightening. “

~Nancy Berkley, President. Berkley Golf Consulting, Inc.

“Just finished the book…it was pleasing to read someone who finally put the industry in its proper perspective.”

~Stewart Healey, President, International Golf League Federation and Handicomp

“Your book arrived today. I was stunned by it. It looks fabulous – totally fabulous. I think this book will bring great things to you Jim. Well done on bringing it to reality.”

~Colin Hegarty, Golf Research, Inc.

“I picked up your book at the GIS Show and I want you to know how much I am enjoying it. There are really great morsels in it and I am recommending it to all of my past, current and definitely future clients! I can only imagine what a laborious task it was to put it all together in your “spare” time. Kudos to you.”

~Heidi Voss, Bauer-Voss Consulting

“Jim, your book arrived yesterday. I was afraid to get too involved in reading because I knew it would be a “page turner.” I will spend some time with it tonight. The golf industry is being destroyed by poorly trained personnel, absentee owners, lack of commitment to grow the game, bad management and many other reasons that I am sure you see on a regular basis.”

~Biggs Tabler, Golf Marketing By Biggs

“Congratulations about the new book. Seems like you have a home run.”

~Dennis Shirley, THE GOLF GUY

“The Business of Golf is an exhaustive work that brings the world of golf course management under one roof. I highly recommend it.”

~Tom Stine, Co-Founder Golf Datatech, LLC

“How many times have you heard, “Boy, I’d like to run my own golf course!” Well, before you do, or if you already do, you should work behind the counter in a pro shop, and read everything you can about the business. You can start with this book. It is well researched by someone who knows how to apply it to a wide range of golf course operations.”

~Joe Beditz, President & CEO, National Golf Foundation

“It is widely recognized that superintendents play a key role in the success of any golf facility. They manage the number one asset at the facility and that is the golf course itself. Avid and influential golfers overwhelmingly acknowledge that superintendents are the key to their enjoyment of the game. Owners of golf courses believe very strongly that superintendents are a key to the financial success of their golf courses. All of this point to the fact that the number one reason golfers choose a particular golf course to play is the conditioning of that course. This is clearly the value that superintendents bring to the game and the industry as emphasized in this book.”

~Mark Woodward, CGCS, CEO of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America

“I think it is relatively easy to be critical of a governing body and sometimes governing bodies deserve criticism.”

~Kevin O’Connor, USGA

“The golf economy in recent years has taught us all the value of building appropriate business models and having realistic goals and objectives. Jim Keegan’s work with this book brings these lessons to the forefront. A good addition to the library of any golf course or club operator.”

~Bob Doyle, PGA Master Professional, Principal/COO Atira Golf

“Jim Keegan’s comprehensive analysis of the golf business is an extremely enlightening manuscript for the golf business person. Whether you are a 35-year operator like myself, or just getting started in the golf business, each chapter is packed full of useful insight that can be used TODAY to make your golf operation better.”

~Jim Roschek, PGA, President, Alamo City Golf Trail

“For 28 years I worked in the law enforcement field, the last 3 years as the police chief of a medium-size police department. In September of 2008, I took over responsibility for two municipal golf courses that had posted a significant loss. Logic dictates that one does not “operate on themselves,” so I hired JJKeegan+ to come in and diagnose where we were hemorrhaging money. Through JJKeegan+ WIN™ Formula we have realized a savings in labor alone of over $175,000.00. I highly recommend The Business of Golf—What Are You Thinking as a roadmap to success for the business of golf. As Jim stated, “where is your focus?” Is it on the business of golf or on the game of golf?”

~Ray McGury, Executive Director, Naperville Park District

“To everyone’s benefit, especially municipally run courses where stewardship is often inherited rather than based on industry acumen, Jim Keegan has written a diagnostic and repair manual for golf courses operating at all success levels. Jim’s three-year study of our courses identified critical financial, player, technological and operational insights. With the City of Ocala not having even moderate industry expertise, Jim involved us in the formulation and implementation of the remedial steps that were necessary to keep our golf programs alive and sustainable. With this book, Jim gives generously of his time and talents by putting twenty years of up-to-date experience into a resource we can all learn from and refer to as we strive to improve and fine tune the golf experiences we offer.”

~John Zobler, Assistant City Manager, City of Ocala

“Jim Keegan’s inherent strength is his ability to recognize and understand the problems and challenges of a golf club operation, and then having the knowledge, discipline and work ethic to dive into the issues and come out on the other end with solutions. This book illustrates both his technique, and his tenacity towards solving these problems. Very useful in these trying times!”

~Phil Green, President, OB Sports Golf Management

“Jim has consolidated years of experience, and visits to over 3,000 courses around the globe, into a comprehensive review and guide to the business of golf. More importantly, he shares the tools, techniques, and best practices he has developed and repeatedly implemented to decrease operating costs, drive revenues and improve customer service. Anyone interested in accomplishing any, or all, of these three objectives is sure to find this book insightful and a valuable reference.”

~Stuart Hayden, Managing Principal, SK&C Management Consulting, former Senior Vice-President, American Golf Corporation

“Well documented, well researched—much like a great manual on golf lessons. It is our goal to become a scratch golfer in the business of golf through the lessons contained in this book.”

~Jeff Levine, Principal/Senior Vice President of Public Courses, Century Golf Partners

“In today’s business of golf, this book is a must read to insure you’re on the right course. Jim Keegan splits the fairway in this approach to strategic planning!”

~Eddie Ainsworth, PGA, Executive Director, Colorado Section PGA

“This is the most comprehensive and insightful book on the golf business in print. Everyone in the business or interested in the economics of our game should read it.”

~Steve Eubanks, PGA, Author of 21 books including Playing by the Rules All the Rules of the Game, Complete with Memorable Rulings From Golf’s Rich History by Arnold Palmer with Steve Eubanks and Cindy Reid’s Ultimate Guide to Golf for Women by Cindy Reid with Steve Eubanks

“Like any how-to manual for a multi-billion dollar industry made up of approximately 16,000 individual case studies (i.e., golf properties) in the U.S. alone, most of which are owned and/or run by people with a distinctly individual and entrepreneurial mindset, The Business of Golf is not going to be a 100 percent match for each facility’s unique set of challenges. On the other hand, if any of those 16,000 can’t find at least a few ideas worth trying, they aren’t reading very carefully.”

~Jim Dunlap, Senior Editor, Golf Inc.

“Reading this book has changed my view of how golf courses operate — and how they could operate. I’ve been looking at golf courses for 30+ years, but in the wake of Keegan’s analysis I’ve already walked into clubhouses and onto courses and see them very differently, with a much sharper eye for those vital moments of customer contact and business management that can make or break an operation. Golf has always been a great game; but as Keegan shows, it doesn’t have to be a lousy business. Owners and operators who heed to finer points of this volume will have a heads up on the competition.”

~Bradley S. Klein, architecture editor of Golfweek, author of thousands of essays and five books on golf design and the golf industry

“Jim Keegan has launched a great discussion in “The Business of Golf”. His book is informative, insightful and a ‘should read’ for everyone who wants to learn more about the golf business. For those who are active in the business of golf, there are jewels of knowledge that add great value.”

~Henry DeLozier, Principal, Global Golf Advisors

“Jim is attempting to turn what is largely a communistic endeavor into a capitalistic enterprise. Bravo!”

~David V. Smith, Chairman, Golf Projects International

“The component of a golf course that fails the quickest is the “crop.” This book provides the guidelines necessary to ensure the golf course owner as the “leader of the band” can focus on the music and turn his back to the audience (largely industry pundits) which largely serves as a distraction.”

~Tim Moraghan, former USGA Agronomist, President Aspire Consulting

“Jim has managed to take such a multi-faceted subject as the golf industry and create an understandable benchmark with which any club can measure themselves and create realistic goals to become more successful.”

~Jim Fedigan, Chief Executive Officer, Jonas Software

“Most people understand why Bars and Restaurants have a very high failure rate. Someone who likes to drink or is a good cook opens an F&B operation with no clue how to run a business. After 20 some years in the golf business I see time and again people who have a passion for the game but lack the business skills to be successful. Having a passion for the game does not make you a successful golf facility operator. This book is filled with a systematic approach to running a golf facility. Rarely do you find a complete how-to guide on running an entire operation. The Business of Golf—What are You Thinking covers everything. If you can’t turn a positive return on investment using the methods in this book, then perhaps you should be looking to sell your property to a real-estate developer (which is also covered in this book!).”

~Rick Robshaw, Chief Executive Officer, Club Prophet

“The Business of Golf provides a very structured look at the complex metrics involved in
running a successful golf course in challenging times. Along with thought
provoking anecdotes and ideas the book provides the reader with a host of real
world solutions sure to improve the success of any operation.”

~Andrew Wood, Author, The Golf Marketing Bible & CEO Legendary Marketing

“Jim Keegan’s knowledge of the business of golf is deep. Jim has brokered several businesses for me in the golf industry. There are thousands of people in the golf business, but Jim is one of the few that truly understands where and how the money is made is in the golf industry.”

~Jim Stracka, Owner of Golfnet,,, and

Professional Golf Management Program

“An excellent book, one of best I’ve ever seen on subject. I would love to use it…I’ve discussed it with my former boss at Methodist University, who also thinks it’s a great book. Before this book, I always had to hunt and peck for what I could teach because there are NO golf text books! Love the book!”

~Ms. Kim Kincer, Director, Eastern Kentucky University, College of Business and Technology

“The book is fascinating reading. There is much for the UK golf industry to learn from this book.”

~Gary Jackson, Business Skills Development Manager, The PGA National Training Academy Ping House, The Belfry Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands

“Great job, enjoyed the webinar. Well done – smooth with great insight. You are an excellent teacher with a lot of passion and knowledge to share. I think your book provides timely information and the necessary customer and financial analysis required to manage a golf course as a “business entity” that adds true economic value. I’m going to show it to my class today as an example of why we are reviewing accounting, reading financial statements, and marketing in my course this semester. My students will achieve great insight and knowledge of golf facilities. By using your book and case study in the fall I hope to set them apart in applying for these management positions. “

~Rick Lucas, PGA, MBA, Doctoral Student, Director, PGA Golf Management Program, Clemson University

“I had opportunity this fall to take a senior level class using The Business of Golf: What Are You Thinking? as a textbook. It is interesting to read, incredibly informative, crisp, clear, concise and without the academic pabulum of most college textbooks. I highly recommend this book to any student who aspires to be a leader in the golf industry. “

~Garrett Chapman, PGM student at Clemson University

“I am so thankful for your knowledge, passion and professionalism that you shared last night. The student “buzz” has been amazing today and they are all so energized from last night! Your presentation was so organized, student-centered, informative and motivating. There was a ton of valuable content and I hope they soaked it ALL up and will apply it in the near future. Your survey numbers and interpretations were amazing and led us into some great discussions in class today! It is so beneficial for the students to experience professionalism, genuine care and knowledge like you possess. Your gift is much appreciated. “

~Molly Sutherland, Executive Director, University of Colorado – Colorado Springs, PGA PGM Program

“Thanks again for the inspiring talk. I cannot remember another time when the students gave a speaker a standing ovation!”

~Dr. Paul Miller, Professor of Accounting, Academic Advisor, PGM Program University of Colorado at Colorado Springs

“Students enjoyed the presentation. Great Stuff.”

~Timothy Eberlein, PGA Master Professional, Campus Director, Golf Academy of America – Phoenix

“I’m looking forward to including it in our curriculum. “

~Lew Gach, M.B.A., PGA, Academic Dean, Golf Academy of America, Myrtle Beach, SC

“I have previewed your book, J.J., and was quite pleased to see you do have many templates that are easily accessible through the PGA links as well as NGF for me to pull up. The students that I will be teaching next month will be our first graduates of the University and your book will be a great compass into the reality of the golf industry! Most are too concerned about their personal golf games and swings instead of an employer’s bottom line, but can’t we all remember our college days.”

~Donna H. White, LPGA, Keiser University – College of Golf