Results reveal increased activity among architects, optimism among facility operators and payoff of capital expenditures
BROOKFIELD, Wis. – Golf course superintendents and general managers agree that topping the “wish list” for their golfers are a dedicated short game practice/learning area and enhanced practice range. That is just one result of the “Golf Facility Market Trend Watch” report, commissioned by the American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA) and conducted by Sports & Leisure Research Group (SLRG). Results were publicly released at the 2018 Golf Industry Show in San Antonio.
The online survey, conducted and analyzed in fall 2017, was distributed to more than 40,000 people, including ASGCA members, and subscribers of By Design and Golf Course Industry magazines. Respondents included golf course architects, superintendents, general managers, facility owners/operators, golf professionals and industry leaders.
“This research highlights the reinvestment being made in golf facilities everywhere,” ASGCA President John Sanford said. “Results match what ASGCA members are seeing in the field; namely, that the greatest project volume over the past two years is from master planning, turf reduction and bunker renovations. Renovation projects continue to keep our members busy, at home and overseas.”
“There is strong data in this report,” said Jon Last, SLRG founder and president. “This provides a benchmark across the industry that future studies will be compared to as we see the golf business continue to evolve.”
Facility renovations, a major source of growth for all aspects of the industry in recent years, including ASGCA members, continues to generate positive results. More than 80% of facilities report high satisfaction for recent renovation work. More than half of all golf course architects have seen increased renovation work over the past two years, and that same amount expect the trend to continue.
Club operators at both public and private facilities agree their biggest challenges are competition for customers’ leisure time, as well as maintenance costs. When those costs are broken down, it is clear that labor costs are the most significant impact on a facility’s financial health.
Founded in 1946 by Donald Ross, Robert Trent Jones and 12 other leading architects, the American Society of Golf Course Architects is a non-profit organization comprised of experienced golf course designers located throughout the United States and Canada. Members have completed a rigorous two-year long application process that includes the peer review of four representative golf courses. ASGCA members are experienced golf course architects, able to counsel in all aspects of golf course design and remodeling and comprise many of the great talents throughout the golf industry.
For more information about ASGCA, including a current list of members, log on to the ASGCA website at http://www.asgca.org or call (262) 786-5960.
Sports & Leisure Research Group Background
For the past ten years, Sports & Leisure Research Group has played a pivotal role in providing marketing professionals with the most extensive customized research and consulting services available. The principals of the firm are each former national presidents of the U.S. Marketing Research Association (MRA), coupling an acute understanding of the sports, travel and leisure markets with a classical marketing research background approach to combine market insights with actionable strategies.
The firm’s expertise allows its clients to take a more creative and strategic approach to advertising research, brand optimization and ROI assessment, product development testing, target market analysis and sales support research. SLRG offers capabilities including focus groups, online surveys and one-on-one interviews. SLRG clients include leading brands and retailers in the sporting goods industry, professional leagues and governing bodies, as well as global agencies brands and media that focus on and activate around professional sports.