There are three kinds of people who will lead their private clubs and daily-fee golf courses to new heights in 2015: planners, seekers and doers.
Whether you’re a club manager, golf professional, superintendent or owner, you need a plan to know where you’re going. Dwight Eisenhower, the U.S. Supreme Commander on D-Day, once said, “Plans are nothing; planning is everything.” Ike knew the power of ongoing consideration, study and preparation.
If you own or operate a golf course or country club, your plan should take into account key factors that have emerged in the new normal.
Whether a private club or a daily-fee course, strategic and tactical plans are essential to success. If you’re a manager, study your market for opportunity and demand. Market knowledge is competitive advantage.
If you’re a superintendent, get your course in the best shape possible. Market demand favors the best-conditioned course over the lowest-priced. Develop an agronomic plan that keeps you and your crew focused on priorities: smooth and consistent putting surfaces, firm playing surfaces, and environmental stewardship. But you can’t overlook the details because even amateur agronomists recognize a mud-hole, a dead tree and weeds.
Be a seeker of knowledge and current best-management practices. It’s the seekers who are a step faster and more agile in a highly competitive market. Jim James, the terrific club manager at Augusta National Golf Club, keeps his team on a constant quest for excellence. Jim describes his management approach saying, “We look at every single day as an opportunity to improve. When we find we are not the best, we are relentless and incredibly focused to make sure that we improve.” That gives seekers an advantage. The 2015 economy will reward those who are relentless and focused.
The collective knowledge in club management and golf operations is considerable. Tap into that knowledge resource.
There’s been plenty of talk in golf; the recovering market will reward those who take action. Taking initiative is a competitive advantage and dependable strategy for golf facilities because few clubs and courses do so.
Three steps to take:
Winston Churchill, the bulldog of a Prime Minister, exhorted his fellow Englishmen, saying, “If you’re going through hell…keep going.” Many golf-related businesses have soldiered through a tough economic cycle that shows favorable signs for 2015. Now is the time to find your own momentum by planning, seeking and doing.
Henry DeLozier is a principal in the Global Golf Advisors consultancy. DeLozier joined Global Golf Advisors in 2008 after nine years as the vice president of golf for Pulte Homes. He is a past president of the National Golf Course Owners Association’s board of directors and serves on the PGA of America’s Employers Advisory Council.