We know that today’s golf consumer is engaging with golf via different kinds of facilities. Public access golf courses, member-based clubs, driving ranges, mini-golf facilities and the new breed of golf simulators all have a vital role to play in golf’s development. A driving range visit these days is often a social night out, and social clubs are offering member benefits without the need for a golf course at all. The new generation of mini golf offers kids parties right through to corporate entertainment, and virtual golf is creating a buzz wherever it opens.
According to Golf Australia, the overwhelming majority of Australia’s 1.2 million estimated golfers are public golfers who are not tied to a member-based club. Given the sheer number of public golfers, and the diverse forms of golf participation, the public golfer is one of key drivers for the future of Australian golf.
Yet the people owning and operating the facilities that serve public golfers have no way to get together, no place to share ideas, and no way to drive their own business performance through education.
Our project work has shown us that the industry has its heroes, and its challenges. The hero sites have stories that should be shared: from Wembley in the west to the likes of Yarra Bend Golf, Moore Park Golf, Victoria Park and Parkwood International. These case studies highlight successful investment strategies and different operating models. The challenges we face are well known: flat participation growth, supply of golf leading to reductions in real prices, and society-wide decline in membership as a value proposition, and at many sites overdue capital investment to reinvigorate tired facilities. How we respond to these challenges is what will define the success of the industry.
Innovation is often as much about iteration as it is big, shiny new things. We want to give you real ideas to take home, both big and small changes you can make to your golf business to improve its performance and help tackle the challenges the industry faces.
So stay in touch as we roll out more detail on the Forum in coming weeks, join the conversation, and be a part of the inaugural Golf Business Forum in 2016.