Below are a few extracts from Rod Burke’s GCA article which highlights the importance of good design and how valuable that is to courses, actually ranked the most important factor in attracting golfers to visit a new course.
His article first appeared in Golf Course Architecture Issue 34 and this taken from Golf Course Architecture website.
“The global economic downturn of the past five years has proved to be a pivotal period for the golf business – and perhaps a moment of enlightenment.
More than at any other time in the game’s history, attention has been focused on the long-term business sustainability of individual golf courses. The result is that courses have become more aware of who their customers are and the importance of taking a customer-centric approach to their operations.
According to the research, golf course design is the most important factor in attracting golfers to visit a new course. However, it is the condition of the playing surfaces that can give them the greatest satisfaction when they are there.
The research found golf course design tended to more important to men than women, although women tended to put greater importance on environmental issues. Design is also a more important factor among younger golfers.
For low handicap players, it was evident that design of the golf course was of greater importance, even above the cost of play. When asked ‘What factors most attract visiting players?’, overall the design of the course came out top. In contrast, clubhouse factors, including ambience, food and drink service, shop merchandise and buggy availability, all fell in the lowest six ratings.
The implication is that if you have a capital sum to invest, redesigning holes, upgrading bunkers and investing in tools to improve turf quality is going to assist in attracting more players, and deliver a better return than spending money on improving clubhouse facilities.”
Click here to read the whole article on GCA website