Sunday, July 10, 2016
Golf course management is more than designing an aesthetically pleasing course - you must also consider the business behind a great course and real estate improvement. In order to simultaneously consider the technical and the artistic aspects of creating an incredible golf course, you need an outside hand with experience in both. Here are just a few of the ways in which a golf course consultant can improve your business.
A great golf course consultant will see the aesthetics of a course not only from the physical landscape, but also from the perspective of the people who are likely to play on that course. Should the difficulty be high for potential pros or commercialized for casual clubgoers? What are the modern trends in course hazards? How will the aesthetic of the course play in a marketing campaign? All of these things must be considered for the best use of the resources that the environment provides.
The spirit of the course must fit within its physical limitations. Course owners may see the potential of a piece of real estate through rosier eyes, spending money to speak to ambition that is perhaps outside of the range of the landscape. An owner may put undue pressure on an architect to perform Hercluean tasks without understanding the physics involved in certain requests. Having a third party in the mix with experience in translating the desires of the owner to the landscaper, architect and other members of the project team is invaluable when designing and implementing a course and hoping to get it right the first time.
Golf Course Revenue
The bottom line for most courses is its ability to drive revenue, and this takes a special eye. The ability of a consultant to see both the business and the artistic side of a course is the true value added - literally everyone else in the picture comes into the negotiation with conscious or unconscious biases about what the course must be about. The consultant is the voice of reason and compromise, and the consultant is also the voice of revenue. A great course consultant will know the statistics about what kind of course sells to the audience that is intended for it. This is essential in beginning to help prioritize and react to the ideas of every involved party.
Believe it or not, compromising ideas around a revenue stream gets more done in less time.
Overall, an effective golf course consultant brings value to all aspects of a golf course - the artistic appearance, the functionality of the course and the revenue potential for the business. Only a person with experience in balancing the many different opinions that surround such a huge project will be able to drill down into each of the necessary disciplines and come up with a plan that is acceptable to everyone, and actually expands on, not limits, the original ideas.
Saturday, May 28, 2016
As a sport, golf enjoyed a bit more participation last year than the year before, likely due to an improvement in the economy. What's clear is that there are more millennial and younger players currently interested in golf, and those are the players who will become regular golfers in the future. While many privately managed golf courses continue to excel by catering to luxury in their clubs and environments, even they can add to the experience for this younger generation and their own special needs. That's not to say the courses should pay less attention to maintenance - golf course management is finding that they can enhance attractions for younger golfers while still catering to their loyal, older enthusiast.
Municipal Golf Course Management and the Beginners
For municipal golf course management, the focus is less on profit and more on providing affordable play. Millennials and first time players often go to the municipal golf courses first because the cost is much lower, allowing them to try out the sport without investing a great deal of money or effort. For municipal golf course management, trends to continue the best service for novice or newer players continue to prove useful.
- Lessons. For municipal golf courses, providing access to reasonably priced lessons for the newer golf player is extremely useful. Many courses hire professionals who specialize in teaching all levels and ages, to provide a family fun environment and develop the basic skill set which encourages continued growth and participation.
- Clean Courses. The fact that a course is more affordable doesn't mean it should be any less aesthetically pleasing. For municipal golf course management, the focus should be on keeping impeccable greens with a course that's easy enough for beginners to maneuver successfully while providing some challenges for the more regular players.
The Competitive Edge - Attracting New Players
Trends are still strong for driving in or attracting newer players because the younger set has more time and money to spend on leisure. For those who love the sport, those young players can become lifelong enthusiasts, so it's important that golf course management spend time thinking of ways to better cater to the up and coming generation without alienating their current clientele. Young professionals have a number of pastimes to choose from and many want to participate in activities with a social aspect, something golf outings do exceptionally well and where golf tends to excel over solitary activities.
Today's players rely heavily on apps. There are wearables to do everything from helping them keep track of their progress to improving their golf swing. Courses that stay in tune with technological advancements are in a better position to cater to younger golfers. The heart of an excellent golf course is the drive to provide what the golfer wants and encourage their enjoyment of the game. Consider ways that you can use technology to your advantage to build a relationship with the younger generation—be it an app to schedule a tee time or ways to keep score. Staying ahead of the curve on technology will likely keep the interest of this generation.
Saturday, May 28, 2016
The collective expertise of a private golf course management team is worth far more than the actual dollar amount paid for such services. Why is that? Because outsourcing golf course management to third party experts with the experience, scientific know-how, and technical, hands-on ability to turn an average course into one that could probably host the next PGA tournament will attract more golfers, and gain a reputation among golf enthusiasts in any given locale. That said, here are our top 5 benefits of private golf course management:
1. Long-term ROI. Expert attention will give your municipal or government-funded golf course long-lasting return on your initial investment in the form of new memberships, rounds and greens fees, and other ancillary pay-offs, such as pro shop and clubhouse sales.
2. An increase in standards and practices compliance. A substandard golf course management team will leave you open to standards and practices failures which can end up costing you much more in the long run. Green Golf Partners adhere to strict standards and practices guidelines, which are employed in perpetuity.
3. Eliminating employee costs create a "net positive" situation. How much is your current municipal or government-funded golf course administration paying in employee benefits, insurance, associate retention, procurement, and added operational efficiencies? Consider what operational costs will be obviated by the hiring-out of a third-party management team which pays its own internal benefits, costs, etc., and you realize what a net positive situation it will be for your municipal golf course.
4. Personalization, not domineering administration. Many who have considered the prospect of hiring out third-party golf course management have made the claim that such an outside organization will act as its own, controlling force which will overwhelm current golf course staff. This is an erroneous myth! Green Golf Partners focuses on a personalized approach that considers the various idiosyncrasies of the course, and everyone's particular needs. We try to understand what works fundamentally and enhance or improve the areas that need the most attention.
5. Employee integration, not elimination. When you hire a team of experts in private golf course management such as Green Golf Partners, our intention is to work with existing employees. We believe in integrating existing employee into the new partnership and helping them grow personally and professionally. Our goal is to help your golf course grow into something bigger, better, more manageable and more profitable—we’ll need the experience and expertise of your employees to help this be successful.
Outsourcing your golf course management to a private team of experts, then, doesn't seem as much of an indulgence, or overhead expense. Based on these top 5 benefits of hiring out private golf course management, you can well see how it's a cost-elimination situation for you to hire Green Golf Partners, not a cost-prohibitive one! Our goal is to help you be successful.
Saturday, May 28, 2016
2016 is bringing some exciting new innovations in golf course design. Here are a few of the most relevant design trends that are providing tourists and professionals alike with an enjoyable challenge.
Second Shot Curveballs
Say what you will about the Reign of the Tiger, watching the driving ability of Tiger Woods frustrated many course architects as well as PGA competitors. Professionals bulked up in order to match the strength of Woods, and suddenly professional courses with long drives became less of a challenge. The response of course architects was to create a curveball during the second drive of the long fairway – it is now not enough to simply be strong enough to hit the green on two stock shots. You must now combine strength with control in order to maintain your direction on the course.
Width for the Wind
Believe it or not, wider fairways may be a direct response to the continued economic recovery in many Western nations. As more people gained the financial leverage to take vacations on courses that were previously reserved for professionals, course architects found their designs ranking much lower in the eyes of clubgoers and tourists. The reason? Courses such as St. Andrews, Pacific Dunes and Ballyneal provided wider fairways in windy weather, giving less talented golfers the ability to chart alternative paths to the green even if their initial shots were taken by the wind. These are difficult courses, to be sure; however, courses that were more difficult than these provided less fun and more frustration. As a result, architects widened the fairways in areas that were known to be windy to preserve the level of tourism for the club presenting the course.
More Pronounced Levels of Difficulty
There is now more of a divide than ever between the amateur golf course and the professional course. This is a trend that was led by none other than Donald Trump and the Doral course that he oversaw on one of his many properties. The architect that designed that course, Gil Hanse, was actually responsible for the 2016 Olympic Games golf course design in Rio. Hanse himself made note of the trend towards designing courses specifically for tourists and amateurs versus designing courses for professionals. He said that club owners were making more precise distinctions than ever over audiences that frequented their courses and requiring course architects to manage their designs accordingly. In short, 2016 will see a much more regulated tier of difficulty between club courses and professional courses. The result of this separation has yet to be fully realized; however, many architects say that this may lead to a much more difficult path for amateur golfers to achieve professional status in the future, especially talented college players who do not have access to the more difficult courses.
Saturday, May 28, 2016
Golf courses often receive strong criticism from environmentalists who are concerned their practices aren’t eco-friendly. Many courses, however, are striving to reverse this bad reputation. They’re doing this by reducing the detrimental environmental impacts often associated with the operation of golf courses by adopting sustainable applications in their daily routines and course maintenance. Golf course management specialists can help you accomplish your eco-friendly goals in many ways, which may include using reclaimed water, reevaluating fertilizers and pesticides, utilizing the courses natural environment, reducing carbon footprints and promoting "green" practices to players. Eco friendly golf course renovations not only help you protect the environment, but can also help reduce overhead costs and save money on your operational budget.
Water – Reclaim, Reuse, Repeat
Golf course maintenance is often resource intensive with millions of gallons of water each year required to keep the course green. The significant amount of water usage needed for irrigation is one big area where golf course management can begin eco-friendly renovations. By using less water with improved irrigation practices, you can save 1,000s of gallons of water each day while preserving a diminishing resource and also realizing a monetary savings on utilities. You can reduce costs related to watering efforts, seeding and turf management supplies by considering these eco-friendly options:
Conserve water by utilizing computer-controlled irrigation systems that can determine hourly how much water is actually needed in each specific area of the course.
Add water features, like ponds, rivers, lakes or waterfalls that help collect water and provide challenging hazards for golfers.
Use rainwater for irrigation.
Research cutting edge biodegradable treatment of rinse water.
Reclaim wastewater to reuse in irrigation.
Convert highly maintained out-of-play areas to more drought tolerant native grass species.
Lower Your Chemical Usage & Carbon Footprint
The large amounts of water required to keep the course pristine isn't the only environmental concern. The use of potentially poisonous fertilizers and dangerous pesticides to cut down on weeds can severely damage the ecosystem. Gas powered equipment to manicure the grounds, high amounts of electricity consumption and similar factors, all contribute to an unhealthy carbon footprint. Adapting your chemical management, such as lowering the use of harmful chemicals and/or adopting an organic method of keeping up the fairways, not only reduces the environmental impact, but also your liability risks and insurance premiums. You can cut down on energy usage and related costs by switching to LED light bulbs, investing in solar powered electric equipment and golf carts or utilizing geothermal, solar or wind as a primary energy source.
Through these and other efforts, the golf industry can embrace sustainability and improve the sport's tarnished reputation. Environmentally-driven golf course development and eco friendly golf course renovation and management may require more planning and research. However, the payoff is a lower maintenance course that's healthier for both the environment and people in general. Plus, you may also earn a better reputation and standing within the community.
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