What Does a Golf Management Company Do?
A golf management company is tasked with managing a golf course and making it thrive economically. These groups are paid a fee each month to turn around a course’s fortunes and make them profitable.
Critics of a golf management company will take the business to task over making the courses and clubs like every other golf facility in the United States. Like a McDonald’s, Wal-Mart or other chain that lacks any local flavor, these courses are just cookie-cutter products being sold to members.
The big names in the golf management company world – Kemper Sports, Troon Golf, Billy Casper Golf – have made a reputation by enhancing the golf and membership experience. They will argue that the experience at one of the courses they manage is unique and offers a better day on the greens than before they took over.
Why hire a golf management company?
One of a golf management company’s biggest selling points is its ability to increase a golf club’s revenue. Some say the game of golf is declining in popularity, and the sport’s need for fresh blood is a result of the struggling golf clubs around the US.
Golf’s rules changes can be seen as a way to bring new players into the game. But until those new players enter the sport, golf courses and clubs are in need of members and to stop any financial losses.
That is where a golf management company can help. In 2016, experts said that 18% of all US golf courses hired third party management groups to oversee everything from maintenance to dining.
Golf management companies’ goals are to:
- Increase membership sales,
- Retain current members, and
- Initiate further member spending through club shop, restaurant or other areas.
The large golf management companies do have marketing plans at a national level that can help a course. These programs are well versed in getting members to join whether it is for discounted rates or special promotions. By adding new members, courses and clubs can increase revenue and owners feel more confident in the current financial atmosphere. In addition, management companies may invest money that the golf course owners now longer want to put into the course. This helps to improve the quality of the facilities.
Increase revenue and decrease spending
While golf management companies can increase incoming financial profits, the groups can also limit the outgoing expenditures. Due to having a relationship at a national level with various companies and other golf courses, clubs can buy supplies and equipment at lower prices. The golf management company can also get deals on insurance, which can lower the overall expenditures the golf course makes.
In addition, management companies can identify employees from their vast networks that will fit into the specific roles at the golf course. Experts say that these employees can make for more “efficient” workers, and make the golf course run much more smoothly.
Is it all positive?
Although the idea of a golf course management company working with a golf club sounds great, many see it more as a problem. For one, the fees a course must pay to be managed can be high; and opponents of management companies argue the fees are usually far more than the money brought in.
In Detroit, there has been controversy over the city’s golf courses and the lack of money brought in from them. In 2016, the city paid part of its revenue to one golf management company as part of a water bill of $442,000. While the company said the course was “a mess” when it took control of maintenance, others feel the bankrupt city has been fleeced of money.
Proponents of golf management companies say the groups only save golf courses money due to the firing and hiring of staff. Companies come in and fire the experienced, more highly paid staff; and in their place are less trained, unskilled and knowledgeable people who give members a subpar experience.
From the dining at the golf course to the people running the club shop, the new recruits work for less and provide less to those paying to use the facilities.
These same proponents believe that a golf course can run in-house management for far less money, and reap much larger rewards.
On the bright side
Golf management companies do invest a lot of money into the courses they oversee, and these groups have some beautiful courses. One area that many believe management companies do the best at is the golf resort business. These large courses need to be taken care of for their guests, and a management company can do it well with its connections.
Consider a golf management degree
Have you ever wanted to work in golf? Have you ever dreamed of working for a golf management company? Keiser University’s College of Golf can get you started on the right path. Contact us today at 888.355.4465.