If you are part of the thousands of golfers like me who travel around the country playing golf, either recreational or hopefully for business purposes, then you are seeing what I am seeing..a change in Golf. Some of what I see is concerning and some could have reasoning based on the fact that golf is changing for the better. Still, more golfers, golf businesses and golf courses need to embrace the fact that GOLF has to change to survive. What is in store for the future of golf is in the hands of the golfers..not the golf businesses.
Flight of the Golfer
One of the first things I notice when I pull up to a golf course is the number of golfers playing that day. Even though the golf stat groups produce a flowery picture of rounds of golf per day holding their own, it really is hard for those of use who get around to different courses to believe those stats when the golf course is near empty.
Where have the golfers gone? There is no denying the layoffs and hard times of a recession has caused many golfers to shelf the golf clubs for now. Oh, golfers are still out there and the many I am talking to have moved from weekend golf to middle of the week golf when the rates are more affordable.
How do they get off work to play during the week? I have found was some of the unemployed have networked to business owners looking to hire someone and invite them out for a round of golf as part of a job interview afterwards. What I also discovered was equally encouraging. It seems the change in the economy is finally forcing out Old Thinking in business management and bringing in the new way to manage business today that makes sense.
A few of the creative golfers I talked with have moved for the office buildings and are setting up offices at home. This allows them the opportunity to work when they want and play golf when they want. They report to be more productive and able to take on more projects from home than at office where the constant meetings and phone calls interrupted their productivity. This is a solution many businesses and companies that employee hundreds of people need to consider.
I shouldn’t be surprised, but again am very impressed with the increase of the business people I am running into during the middle of the week who are out at the private and public golf clubs with a client or staff members. After in-depth conversations with these individuals and groups of business people I am finding more people are finding one of the aspects of golf very valuable to developing new business.
I visited with a business women who is a principle in a business start up who took up playing golf since it is a great tool for seeing the true person she was playing golf with. On that day she was playing golf with potential partners. She was checking each of them out to see if their were any hidden character flaws that would cause problems in doing business later.
I will have to concede to the reason why the golf courses are seemingly empty being due to more people finding that the Pace of Play during the weekend is Unbearable. Many have given up the game due to this and others are joining Country Clubs who now are placing Course Managers on the golf course to help keep crowded days of golf pleasant for their members.
I am encouraged but guarded of my optimism that more golf courses are taking my advice in looking at different ways to keep golfers in GOLF. Hopefully this is the future of golf.
Keeping Golf Courses OPEN
As a very concerned golfer I am sad with the many golf courses I am seeing closing their doors. Though the number is small compared to the total number of golf courses in the world it still is very concerning to me to see a golf course forced to close, especially if there were things that could be done to keep it open.
Granted, like in everything in life, some things are inevitable and even in the best of times a golf course is going to go out of business. However, unlike the closing many other types of businesses, the closing of a golf course really impacts the economy deeply. Anytime something as close to the center of a community’s center socially and economically goes out of business the impact is going to be greater than a business or industry that is seated squarely in a single form of business.
Golf courses not only employee people but serve as a base for people to enjoy more of their personal and professional lives. When a golf course closes it takes with it bit of trust in that community. Industry growth in a community will weaken and business looking for new homes will start looking else where if the local social structure is disrupted by the closing of a golf course. All kinds of other types of business could close up shop in a community, but when a golf course closes it brings forth a question in that communities ability to survive.
What causes the closing of private and public golf courses is what I find most concerning. It is one thing to close a golf course due to lack of interest or the quality of the infrastructure but a total other thing if the golf course has fallen victim to the mismanagement of many investment groups. To close a golf course due to its operating budget being too top heavy with High Dollar executive salaries and investor’s return on their money is simple appalling.
I see the communities surviving this recession being the ones who keep their golf courses open at all costs. It is the right thing to do for the city leaders to keep their municipalities sound by keeping the infrastructures of their communities sound. However, like in anything else in the economy, the soundness of the community’s golf courses can only be accomplished with the support of global golf community.
The future of golf is in the hands of golfers. To keep golf going golfers have to play more golf. Golf has got to evolve to creating more purpose to playing golf than it just being recreational. If more people learned the virtues golf has on developing business that purpose would then be developed into more people playing golf.
The future of golf becomes sound by more people playing golf. So, lets keep golf going by playing more golf. Let me know how to help