Announcements

  • NGCOA Partners with Tagmarshal

    The NGCOA is pleased to announce its latest corporate partnership with Tagmarshal, the experts in data-driven on-course optimization. Through this new relationship, NGCOA members will receive rebates when purchasing Tagmarshal’s software products and devices. 

    Tagmarshal helps courses optimize operations by providing full course oversight, including player activity and real-time reporting for proactive management of field flow and efficient on-course operations. Tagmarshal’s GPS-based system gives owners and operators real-time information about where players are on the course and how long they are taking to complete each hole; this technology enables staff to preemptively manage the pace of play in real-time, understand course traffic for cart tracking and grounds maintenance, and improve the player experience — which generates savings and additional golf course revenue.

    Click here to read the official announcement

    Click here to learn more about Tagmarshal and this newest member rebate benefit
  • New Resource for Aspiring Golf Course Owners

    NGCOA just released its latest research publication, So, You Want to Own a Golf Course? — A Must-Read Primer for Any Aspiring Golf Course Owner. This comprehensive guide provides foundational knowledge related to golf course ownership to those who may be considering ownership.

    Within its 50-pages are 10 chapters that take a deep dive into topics such as The Lay of the Land for Prospective Buyers, Are You the Right Person to Own a Golf Course?, How Exactly Does the Golf Course Business Work?, Resources for Course Buyers, Before and After Purchase and many more. New or aspiring owners can only benefit from advice from those who, in many cases, learned the hard way what did or did not work.

    Those interested in this guide can download the publication at no charge at ngcoa.org/SYWTOAGC.
  • “NGCOA Insurance Services” Now Serviced by the BSBD Group

    NGCOA is pleased to announce that its “NGCOA Insurance Services” benefit is now being serviced by Boyd, Shackelford, Barnett & Dixon, LLC (the BSBD Group). NGCOA member golf courses will continue to obtain comprehensive and cost-effective property casualty services, medical (pharmacy, dental and vision), and life Insurance and disability income protection. Learn more about NGCOA Insurance Services at NGCOAinsuranceservices.com.

    The BSBD Group has the ability to create unique programs for both the smallest of golf courses to those golf management companies with large portfolios. The BSBD Group is a perfect fit for the NGCOA as the company already has clients in the golf space and they understand the operations of running and managing golf course facilities.

    NGCOA member golf courses and their employees will continue to have access to best rates on:

    Property & Casualty Insurance. Obtaining proper coverage for golf courses has increasingly become more difficult. NGCOA members have exclusive access to industry specific offerings and expertise for all their commercial insurance needs.


    Medical & Pharmacy (includes Dental, Vision, Life and Disability insurance). An employee benefits program can be very personal. Our experts know the golf business and have curated a golf industry specific program that is the perfect fit for you and your employees.

    Learn more about NGCOA Insurance Services at NGCOAinsuranceservices.com.
  • NGCOA Members Get Rebates on Motorola Two-Way Radio Products

    NGCOA is pleased to announce its new partnership with HQ98, the largest national value-added reseller of Motorola two-way radios. Through this partnership, NGCOA members receive rebates on industry-leading two-way radio systems; these devices help golf facilities increase productivity, enhance customer service, ensure safety and increase profitability operations on the course, during events and tournaments, at food and beverage locations, and more.

    HQ98’s NGCOA Smart Buy Marketplace benefit includes per-unit rebates on two-way radio systems for both golf course operations and restaurant/hospitality operations. Visit ngcoa.astracomm.com to learn more and contact an HQ98 representative.
  • Your Golf Course May Be Eligible for up to Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars in Tax Credits

    NGCOA's Newest Smart Buy Partner Helps Businesses with ERTC Calculation and Filing
     
    NGCOA has just partnered with Rockerbox to help golf courses determine if they're eligible for the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) program.

    These credits are designed to help small business owners offset the economic losses associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, which can keep your employees on payroll, and can result in up to hundreds of thousands of dollars and increased cash flow.

    The consultation with Rockerbox takes 15 minutes, and is a no-cost, no obligation opportunity for you to find out if — and how much — you're eligible to receive. Once Rockerbox determines your eligibility, they will work with you to calculate the number of credits, and then file with the IRS. 
     
    If you're interested in talking to a representative to learn more and determine your ERTC eligibility, visit Rockerbox’s page in the NGCOA Smart Buy Marketplace.
  • Pellucid Corp.’s Golf Market Research Center Becomes NGCOA’s Latest Member Benefit

    The NGCOA is pleased to announce Pellucid Corp. as its latest corporate partner. Through this partnership, Pellucid’s Golf Market Research Center (GMRC) will be available to NGCOA members at a reduced price through the NGCOA Smart Buy Marketplace. Pellucid will also share its research findings with the golf course industry through NGCOA’s online Research Center.

    The GMRC provides golf course owners and operators with facility comparative reporting and benchmarking information; this 20-minute, recorded webinar explains the program and demonstrates the tools and reports. 

    The GMRC is in its pilot phase until May 31, 2021, allowing both NGCOA members and non-member golf courses to participate at no cost. Once a facility is registered, it can share information and view real-time industry reports immediately. Golf courses that would like to participate should contact Jim Koppenhaver at jim@pellucidcorp.com by May 31, 2021 with the facility name and contact information of the designated administrator.

    When the program officially launches on June 1, 2021, complimentary pilot registrations will be deactivated, and golf course facilities will have until July 31, 2021 to join as a GRMC Charter Member.

    Click here to read more about Pellucid and this new benefit in the NGCOA Smart Buy Marketplace.

  • Just Released: 2021 Trend Reports

    NGCOA today released three new digital publications: 2021 Agronomic Trends in Golf, 2021 Marketing Trends in Golf and 2021 Operation Trends in Golf. Details on each report can be found on the NGCOA Research Center and NGCOA members can download digital versions from the website at no cost.

    NGCOA’s multi-course owner/operator and golf management company community possesses a unique vantage point on industry practices and policies, given that they represent 1,400+ courses collectively. We canvassed this leadership to open a forum on the lessons and trends of 2020, inviting heads of these companies to comment on how they navigated and innovated through an unprecedented year. The response was extensive and impressive, with a compelling set of themes emerging across all areas. Once these many inputs were reviewed, we arranged one-on-one interviews to delve into the details of the trends our respondents had identified.

    The results and findings from those discussions and interviews are capsulized in these reports. What you’ll find is a dynamic story of pandemic-driven creativity, layered on top of the management ideas that were already in motion, based on pre-pandemic strategies that did not lose their currency because of COVID-19 and will be part of the landscape as normalcy slowly returns to our economy and society.

    Because these unique, educational resources were developed to provide golf course owners and operators with a 12-month retrospective view on challenges and successes, NGCOA will continue to produce and provide them to association members on an annual basis. 

    If you are not currently an NGCOA member, and would like to join to receive these intriguing and insightful reports — along with other valuable benefits — please contact Jay Andersen, NGCOA’s Director of Membership, at jandersen@ngcoa.org.

  • NGCOA CEO Jay Karen Joins U.S. Travel Association Board of Directors

    The NGCOA is pleased to announce that Jay Karen has been appointed to the U.S. Travel Association Board of Directors. This is the first time the golf industry has been represented on the organization's board; this seat ensures that NGCOA’s industry priorities are included within U.S. Travel’s larger public and national travel policy messages.

    Additionally, this appointment is a critical early step in the emerging NGCOA Golf & Travel Initiative, which NGCOA created to address the needs of golf resorts and other golf businesses that rely heavily on the domestic and international traveler.

    “Thirty percent of the entire $84B golf economy is touched by travel and tourism,” said Karen. “It’s incumbent upon us to be good citizens with the rest of the travel industry, and to advocate for golf’s needs inside the travel industry.”

    The U.S. Travel Association is the country's authority for pro-travel public policy and advocacy work for the travel industry. NGCOA will become involved with U.S. Travel’s advocacy efforts in Washington as it relates not only to golf, but also to increasing international travelers, travel’s $2.5 trillion economic impact, and the 15.8 million Americans employed by the industry. In February 2021, U.S. Travel submitted its updated relief and recovery priorities to Congress; NGCOA supports these priorities as well.
  • Yamaha Golf-Car Company Extends Partnership with the NGCOA

    Yamaha Golf-Car Company is NGCOA's “Official Golf Car Partner” and NGCOA and Yamaha Golf-Car Company are pleased to announce an extension of their partnership. 

    This valuable partnership will benefit NGCOA members and Yamaha’s customer base by offering incentives on Yamaha golf and utility vehicle purchases/leases through the NGCOA’s Smart Buy Marketing purchasing program, complimentary memberships to the association, and more.

    “The last four years have made a real difference with both organizations,” said Jay Karen, NGCOA’s Chief Executive Officer. “Yamaha’s top-level support allows our team to do the important work of advocacy and education for our members and the industry. And we have been pleased to support Yamaha’s rise in the market as a premier brand in their sector. We look forward to many more years of win-win.”

    “Yamaha Golf-Car Company’s support of the NGCOA is our way of supporting the golf industry and I am thrilled with the success and partnership,” adds Tom McDonald, Yamaha Golf-Car Company President. “The NGCOA provides education and advocacy for its members and the industry as a whole. To do this requires someone to step up as the primary sponsor. This relationship has its success on our side as well. In the first three years of our relationship, 176 NGCOA members allowed us to demo our products and decided to switch to Yamaha. Now that’s a win-win!”

    To view the conversation between Jay Karen and Tom McDonald, please visit https://youtu.be/eJu53cFBJoM.

    To learn about the Yamaha Golf Car member benefit, visit the NGCOA Smart Buy Marketplace.

    For more information about Yamaha Golf-Car Company, please visit
    www.yamahagolfcar.com.

  • GBC21 Offers PGA Professionals Education Specific to Golf Course Operations

    On Tuesday, January 26, Golf Business Conference 2021 (GBC21) will feature four (4) education sessions in which attendees of the 2021 PGA Show Virtual Experience & Marketplace can participate. Every year, GBC provides expert education related to golf course ownership and operations, and this year’s all-virtual platform enables this expertise to be shared with PGA Professionals. One session in particular, “So You Want to Own a Golf Course,” is specifically designed for anyone who plans to purchase a golf course in the future.

    Full session descriptions can be found in the NGCOA Golf Business Conference Track on the PGA virtual platform. Learn about these and the other eight GBC21 education sessions at golfbusinessconference.com.

  • Golf Business Conference 2021 Registration is Open

    Register today! Golf Business Conference is the industry’s largest annual gathering of golf course owners and operators. This year, the event will be conducted virtually January 25-27, in conjunction with the 2021 PGA Show Virtual Experience & Marketplace.

    The registration fee — $95 for NGCOA members and $125 for non-members — includes access to all 12 GBC21 education sessions over three half days, and access to the session recordings after the conference. View the entire session schedule at golfbusinessconference.com/agenda. Also included is the annual NGCOA awards recognition ceremony and annual meeting for NGCOA members; this segment will be held virtually through NGCOA’s online platform.

    GBC21 attendees can also view free PGA Show education content and PGA Show keynote sessions, and will be given access to the PGA Show exhibitor showrooms, appointment setting and chat feature, exhibitor-to-attendee matchmaking, virtual special events, the PGA Marketplace and more. Golf course owners who want to attend the full PGA Show Virtual Experience & Marketplace can add it to their registration in Step 3; visit pgashow.com for information and additional pricing.

    GBC21 attendees can earn continuing education credits from the PGA of America, the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA), the Club Management Association of America (CMAA), and the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA). GBC21 sponsorships and PGA Show exhibiting opportunities are also available. Learn more at golfbusinessconference.com.
  • NGCOA Announces Award Winners for 2021

    The NGCOA is honored to announce the winners of the association’s annual awards. Each year, the NGCOA recognizes the most outstanding members of the past year, and the individuals and organizations that have helped preserve the tradition of the game while embracing the challenges and opportunities of the golf business.

    Jemsek National Course of the Year Award
    This award recognizes a golf course that epitomizes exceptional course quality and management excellence, makes important contributions to its communities and the game, and is a model of operations to its peers. The following members were selected as the Regional Course of the Year winners (from which the National Course of the Year is chosen):
    • Spring Meadows Golf Course in Gray, ME (Region 1)
    • Stoatin Brae Golf Course in Augusta, MI (Region 2)
    • Pinehurst Resort & Country Club in Pinehurst, NC  (Region 3)
    • Gamble Sands in Brewster, WA (Region 4)
    From these regional winners, the NGCOA Board of Directors selected Stoatin Brae Golf Course as the 2021 Jemsek National Course of the Year winner.

    Don Rossi Award
    This award is given for significant and long-lasting contribution to the NGCOA
    • Del Ratcliffe, PGA, Ratcliffe Golf Services, Inc.

    Paul Porter Award
    This award recognizes an NGCOA member who left an enduring mark on a chapter or international affiliate through the highest level of commitment, service and leadership.
    • Joel Moore, The Ridge at Back Brook, and Vice President of the New Jersey Golf Course Owners Association (NJGCOA)

    Champion Award
    This award is bestowed upon individuals or entities which have succeeded in working on behalf of a group of owners – locally, regionally, nationally or internationally – and have garnered significant victory for our members.
    • Dave Wasenda & Joel Moore
    • South Carolina Golf Council
    • Michigan Golf Alliance

    Player Development Award
    This award is bestowed upon a course, entity or individual, which has implemented true and tested player development programs, providing effective return-on-investment and an overall welcoming atmosphere for new golfers of all ages.
    • LPGA Foundation, Daytona Beach, FL
    • Cog Hill Golf and Country Club, Palos Park, IL
  • Golf Business Conference Pivots to All-Virtual Format for 2021

    Continues strategic alliance with the PGA Merchandise Show


    NGCOA announced today that Golf Business Conference 2021 (GBC21) will be conducted virtually, January 25-27, 2021, alongside the PGA Show Virtual Experience & Marketplace. The health and safety of the golf business community is our top priority, and was the driving force behind the shift in format.


    GBC21 will continue its strategic alliance with the PGA of America and PGA Golf Exhibitions, delivering education and exhibitor information on the PGA Show’s virtual presentation platform. The NGCOA annual meeting and awards recognition ceremony will be held virtually through NGCOA’s online platform. Registration will open in mid-December.

    “We’re looking forward to once again bringing a first-rate education program to our attendees,” said Jay Karen, NGCOA CEO. “The conference’s virtual delivery will make attending safer and easier, and we’ll be able to more effectively integrate and cross-educate our members and PGA Professionals.”

    GBC21 will offer education over three days with topics such as business-critical legislation, revenue-generating technologies, financial planning, customer and golfer experience improvements, course design and architecture capital investments, and much more. GBC21 will also offer education such as golf course ownership basics, and property assessment and real estate — information beneficial to new owners, and PGA Professionals and others interested in becoming an owner or operator. Wednesday’s programming will also include a shared Keynote Session with the PGA Show.

    Golf Business Conference 2021 education sessions will be eligible for continuing education credits from the PGA of America, as well as the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA), the Club Management Association of America (CMAA), and the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA).

    NGCOA members and other golf course owners will have the option to register for both the Golf Business Conference and the PGA Show Virtual Experience & Marketplace. Registration will open in mid-December. Sponsorships and exhibiting opportunities are also available.
  • NGCOA Offers Members App-Based Medical and Prescription Programs with Give Virtual Care Partnership

    Comprehensive telemedicine plan covers course staff and their families

    NGCOA is pleased to announce its newest Smart Buy Marketplace partner, Give Virtual Care (GVC). This partnership gives NGCOA members, their employees and their families access to virtual healthcare, including 10 percent off a monthly Give Virtual Care Group Membership, which includes Teladoc, Rx Valet, Expert 2nd Opinion and iCrisis Connection International mobile app services. If a golf course already offers traditional medical insurance to its staff, GVC’s online offerings can be used to enhance those services, especially during the pandemic. Visit givevirtualcare.com/ngcoa for information and enrollment.

    “Give Virtual Care is not insurance, but a robust Virtual Care Healthcare membership,” said Adam Packard, Director of National Strategic Partnerships for Give Virtual Care. “GVC group memberships were designed for organizations and their teams of hourly, part-time and 1099 employees, which makes it perfect for golf course personnel. It’s easier to run a business when employees are healthy, at work, and happy.”

    “In today’s state of public health, people need options,” said Jay Karen, NGCOA CEO. “The suite of virtual medical services available in GVC’s partnership gives our members and their staff and families various ways to get affordable, quality care from the safety, comfort and convenience of their homes. This is the future of medical care, and we are pleased to facilitate this partnership.”

    Give Virtual Care was created in part to assist employers in providing safe, secure medical assistance from home, and eliminates the barriers and restrictions created via conventional health insurance. Through this relationship, NGCOA members will get a discounted group membership including:

    • Teladoc: Access 24/7/365 via phone, tablet, computer and App to free, unlimited on-demand general medical appointments and free consultations anywhere in the United States
    • Rx Valet: Home delivery and up to 85% off the high cost of medications at over 50,000 pharmacies. Includes international pharmacies, specialty medications, diabetic supplies, pet medications and prescription assistance programs.
    • Expert 2nd Opinion: Get a free second opinion for the most challenging of health issues, whether a torn ACL or serious diagnosis. Expert 2nd Opinion provides each GVC Member the opportunity to request a 2nd opinion; members will be guided to one of Teladoc’s experts to discuss.
    • iCrisis Connection International: a “one tap” with a confidential, 24/7 solution answered by trained professionals to keep you and your family members safe and to link them to resources to assist with mental health, depression or suicide prevention.
  • Update on Recent Credit Card Scam

    As NGCOA recently reported, our industry was recently hit by a credit card scam. To date, this scam has hit at least 15 golf courses, and resulted in more than $428,000.00 in erroneous charges tied to what appear to be robots hacking the online shopping carts on courses’ websites. This appears to only be hitting the online stores on golf courses, where items like gift cards are sold — not the tee sheet and booking engines. 

    In particular, and as of right now, the scam only seems to be involving those courses using the ETS Emoney Commerce Platform (or Elavon Emoney). Please note that ETS was purchased by Elavon in 2018, and Elavon is a subsidiary of U.S. Bank.

    Here is how it seems to work:

    • Robot scammers are somehow entering random credit card numbers into the payment page of the online store.  Each time the merchant processing system attempts to process the credit card entered, the golf course is charged a small transaction fee ($.08 to $.10), even if the number doesn’t work.
    • The robot continues to enter random numbers until it stumbles upon a valid number. The scammers harvest the valid credit card numbers and use or sell those numbers for criminal benefit.
    • The robots may make tens or hundreds of thousands of attempts on the golf course’s online store, which results in enormous processing fees for the golf course (we hear between $1,000.00 and $160,000.00 in charges per course in a month’s time).
    • This money is drafted from the course’s bank account as a fee to the merchant processor. Course operators may not realize these charges until your regular monthly bank and merchant processing statements are reviewed.

    An additional concern may be the individuals who hold card numbers that were successfully charged by the robots. They may have an illegitimate charge for a golf gift card purchase on their statements, and subsequently, seek chargebacks. This could put the victimized golf courses in a dispute situation with credit card companies.

    We believe this activity is the result of the lack of security in the online store technology. Ideally, the technology should be able to detect when fraudulent attempts are made, especially at this volume and speed.

    Since being alerted to this issue, NGCOA engaged with all parties who had participated in processing the credit card transactions and withdrew funds from our golf courses’ bank account. This includes representatives from Elavon, U.S. Bank, which was the acquirer for Evalon/ETS credit card transactions, and VISA Corp in an effort to identify the parties responsible for refunding our golf courses.

    Elavon indicates that they are going to provide refunds to the affected golf courses. We are continuing to work with all of our affected courses to ensure they receive the same commitment and their funds are fully returned.


    What steps can you take to protect yourself? 

    • At this time, the hackers seem to be only targeting online shopping stores, so you need to work with your web site partners, golf management software, and merchant processor to ensure safety procedures are in place that will limit this type of “bot” activity.
    • Ensure you are only using technology that is both PCI compliant and PA-DSS certified. Technology safety measures may include limiting failed transaction attempts, followed by a timeout for activity, from the user’s IP address.
    • If you are using the ETS/Elavon platform, you may want to consider temporarily shutting it down until this is satisfactorily resolved.
    • If you believe you’ve been a victim of this crime, we recommend you let your bank know these fraudulent charges have been made to your account. They may temporarily restore your funds until a thorough investigation is completed by their fraud department.
    • You may want to challenge the charges with the merchant processor responsible for your online store transactions. Note: this may be different than the one managing your primary golf business transactions, such as tee time transactions, in-house credit card transactions, etc.
  • USGA Shares Customer Experience Findings via NGCOA's Golf Business LIVE


    Register now to attend the National Golf Course Owners Association’s (NGCOA) two-part Golf Business LIVE webinar series,
    "Driving Revenue Through the Golfer Journey: Experience Satisfiers and Dissatisfiers."

    This webinar series is free to attend and will take place Tuesday, November 17 and Thursday, November 19 at 1:00 PM ET and will be presented by the USGA and its research team:

    • David Pierce, Director of Research and Operations, Green Section, USGA
    • Kris Schoonover, PhD, Director of Operations/Asst Competitions Director, Erin Hills & Professor, University of Wisconsin - Stout
    • Eric Brey, PhD, Professor, University of Wisconsin - Stout

    A login link will be emailed to you one hour before the event

    The team will take a deeper dive to uncover what golfers really want from their golf journey (both on and off the course), and explore what critical data owners and operators need to consider before, during and after a round of golf. The information will help operators of all course types understand the scope of the golfer experience journey, including:

    • How to meet the needs of customers during the five phases of the golfer experience
    • Where business opportunities exist in the more than 1,000 golfer touchpoints
    • Top motivations and expectations of golfers from your course
    • Satisfaction of touchpoints related to pace of play, customer service, design and more
    • Which on-course touchpoints create satisfaction and dissatisfaction


    The NGCOA will also host a sneak peek of these research efforts with
    David Pierce, Kris Schoonover, and Eric Brey during Golf Business LIVE on Wednesday, November 11 at 3:00 PM ET. Jay Karen, NGCOA CEO and Don Rea, PGA, Augusta Ranch Golf Club. Register now!

    NGCOA’s Golf Business LIVE webinar series covers the latest happenings in the golf industry, shares informative content as it relates to the success of your golf course operations, and offers an interactive question and answer session with attendees. Click here to watch previous NGCOA webinars.


  • NGCOA Sponsors Inaugural African American Golf Expo & Forum

    NGCOA is pleased to announce its involvement in the first African American Golf Expo & Forum (AAGE&F). The event, scheduled for February 20-23, 2021 at the Marietta Hilton Hotel and Conference Center in Atlanta, seeks to “promote the game, the business, the industry, the careers and the opportunities in golf to African Americans” and other communities currently underrepresented in the sport. It will feature sessions on topics ranging from golf programs at historically black colleges and universities to supplier diversity opportunities as well as 20,000 square feet of exhibition space reserved for minority-owned/focused businesses and organizations.

    NGCOA is sponsoring and will present educational programming related to golf course ownership. “We’re excited that NGCOA came on as our first sponsor, and we look forward to NGCOA playing a dual role in our first Expo & Forum,” said Jim Beatty, founder of AAGE&F, president of Jim Beatty Golf Ventures, executive editor of the African American Golfer’s Digest and chairman of the WE ARE GOLF Diversity Task Force Recreational and Competitive Play Committee. “Our attendees will greatly benefit from NGCOA’s business expertise and guidance. We want to increase the ownership of golf courses and other venues among African Americans and NGCOA will help achieve that goal.”

    This new partnership not only puts NGCOA in a better position to help the business of golf — especially as it relates to supporting currently underrepresented populations in golf with revenue-positive course ownership — it is also a tangible demonstration of the organization’s commitment to a more diverse and inclusive sport. "In order to see real progress in the business of golf,” said NGCOA CEO Jay Karen, “industry stakeholders need to walk down many paths together. This sponsorship and education-sharing allows us to take a significant step, but rest assured it is only one of many ahead. I look forward to collaborating with Jim and with my fellow industry allied organizations on helping improve the business we love.”

    To underscore its aim to drive diversity, equity and inclusion activities that serve the business of golf, NGCOA has also developed a Diversity & Inclusion Center on its website. Golf course owners and operators will find information on minority-owned and/or -focused businesses, organizations, publications and programs as well as resources for building and maintaining a healthy culture of inclusivity in their own organizations.

    For more information about the AAGE&F, please visit aagolfexpo.com.