By Josh Little, Guest Contributor, Golf Business
In business and in life, there’s winging it and there’s zinging it.
The former represents an attempt to perform without full preparation or knowledge. The latter centers on confidence and vitality gained from deep diligence to accomplish goals in informed ways.
With the hustle and bustle of operating golf courses and country clubs, owners and operators are vulnerable to shortchanging the important exercise of groundwork. Therein lies deleterious effects of not allowing relatively indisputable data to help create paths to optimal profitability. Guesswork is not a plan.
We recently caught up with Landscapes Golf Management leadership. It’s fastidious in studying statistically valid trends – locally, nationally and even internationally – which shape strategic thinking and programming.
After all, like the population at large, golfers consistently undergo dynamic shifts in personal and professional lives, shaping their motivations to play rounds and join or resign from clubs.
To wit, Landscapes Golf Management takes its cues from societal and golf data:
- The Search – Google’s most popular keyword in 2022 was Facebook / Meta averaging 213,000,000 searches monthly. How did golf compare? Tiger Woods and LIV Golf were the most searched-for golf subjects in the U.S.
- The punchline – Promotion of new endeavors and people's peak interests.
- Timing – More than 99 million Americans watched the 2022 Super Bowl, about 16.6 million watched the Oscars and 10.1 million the Masters.
- The punchline – Focus golf marketing during these peak time frames to capture heightened interest.
- That’s A Lot – There are roughly 333 million Americans (of all ages), of which 7.2% played a round of golf on-course last year.
- The punchline – The market is large, all around us, and ours for the taking, so create programming that makes it attractive, entertaining, unintimidating and easy to get people out of their easy chairs and together with instructors.
- Changing Thinking – With recreational marijuana legal in 19 states, a controversial debate continues around the 19th hole. An anonymous PGA Tour player survey reports nearly 60% of those polled believe the PGA Tour should permit pot.
- The punchline – While not advising CBD use on-property, operators should be more open-minded and modernizing to relaxed experiences. This isn’t your grandfather’s course anymore!
- Seasonality – In cooler weather, golf balls travel shorter distances: First, when balls and clubs are cool, the energy transfer is less efficient, resulting in a slower ball speed. Second, because colder air is denser than warm air, friction and drag increase. There’s a roughly 1.5% drop in distance for every 20-degree drop in temperature.
- The punchline – Ease course playability for greater golfer enjoyment proportionate to temperature.
- Length Matters – Amateurs’ driving distance averages for men: all skill levels, 215 yards; handicaps 13-20, 200 yards; 6-12, 220; below six, 240; for women: all skill levels, 147 yards; handicaps between 13-20, 155; 6-12, 177; below six, 200.
- The punchline – Know your members’ and guests’ abilities to improve course set up, turf variables, pace of play and scoring opportunities.
Says Landscapes Golf Management President Tom Everett: “Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion.”