What do you see in your region for golf industry

Just curious; as the unexpected influx of golf activities owing to the pandemics restrictions. 2021 was a good year for golf industry in my area.
New and returned golfers flooded the driving range and the golf public golf courses like I have not seen in the last two decades.
While I was on the fully packed driving range, the overhead paging for golfers to the first tee had a lot of singles and the two-some ( with obvious fake names).
I’ll not question why people were not working either at office or at home but on the golf course. The fact was, the local public golf courses were packed and the usual Winter Discounted green fees were not applied.
Actually, the municipal golf course implied the “smart” green fees, which means the posted green fees will not be the actual green fees when the golfers get to the counter to pay( or pay on line ). If the demands for the tee time is high, the green fees will adjust “UP” and if there were empty tee sheets, the the green fees will “adjust down”.
In any case, I had never experienced a lower then the posted green fees and more likely to pay more than the posted green fees .
"Highway Robbery "???
However, in recent weeks, I had been receiving offering of discounted green fee from golf courses farther away from the metro area. Ranging from 30%-40% off then the normal posted green fee schedule.
Also receiving lots of offering of “fitting” and sales for 2021 equipment.
Nothing really interesting as the usual 20%-40% offering from the OEM passed on to the retail chain usually in the Spring months.
But, we’re still in the middle of the Winter months !
I feel, the slowing down is around the corner, not just for the golf industry but for everything else.
Not going into the numbers and statistics, I just know, harder times than in the late 70’s to the early 80’s is around the corner. I don’t see any other way out of this . As all the rules had been broken, leading us to this point.
I’d put off purchasing all the none-essential until later, and Golf is one of the item on the top of the list of none-essentials.

What is going on in your region ?


Well, a few changes (IMO most of it sucks)…Green Fees up significantly and people are paying them, The Nouveau Golfers are IMO clueless. No course etiquette, Music blaring from the carts, mostly young men spending dollars on equipment and not even knowing how to strike a shot… No divot repair, no ball mark repair, hit a ball into “my fairway” and not even registering on their radar that I’m about to blast a tee shot. Not raking bunkers, I saw a guy ride a cart on the green and said to me "mind your own F’n business, the lawnmowers ride on them…so what! I played with a group last year and on the first hole a par four 320 yds, they took a combined 28 shots. Think about that! And didn’t care that a group was behind us and when I said we gotta pick it up guys, said well the golf cart says we are 3 minutes ahead of pace! So what do I see, eventually this group will go away… I hope my course brings back preferred men’s association tee times instead of the free for all we are experiencing. I’d like to see the pro go back to giving lessons…he shut that down. We’ll see?


The sign of the time.
People are not behaving, using the pandemics as an excuse. Most of them have no consideration for the others and they do not care.
This pandemics brought out the best and also the worst of human. I don’t know how they could go back to
“normal” when the time comes.

As for the green fees. I could understand the need to scoop up as much money while the golf courses could to make up for the past year’s deficit. However, a lot of the practices had turned away the golfers who will still be here after everything else opened up.

Most of these “new” golfers got on the golf course because they pilled up savings from not eating out and not traveling as often as they used to. What’s another $100 for them comparing to dropping it in a nice restaurant or take a trip to somewhere exotic ?
They will go back to where they had left off before the pandemics and probably not staying with this game. It is a game needing dedication and patience.
Had I seen this guy driving a cart onto the green, I’d do a Jack Nicholson on him to give him a nine iron. What makes a man is not during the time of plentiful. It’s to show the true color when time is tough and chaotic.
Some of them never grow up, no matter of their age.

Lay low and stay safe. This time will be over, hopefully, soon. If not, then, nothing matters.

  • What do you “see” in your local public , municipal golf facilities?
    I don’t have data and numbers, however, starting to see lots of promotion from golf courses a bit ways from the metro area. Specialty golf shops have plenty of advertising and “fitting” open schedule.
    Start to “feel” the jammed up golf facilities would be less crowded. With the increase green fees, it opened the door for other alternatives.
    One of the guy said something like, golf or rib-eye for dinner ?
    I had never compared golf with household budget, and it’s an interesting way of looking at the economy of things.
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LOL! Golf or Ribeye for dinner? Well I do both! One of the the nice things about my home course is senior golf rates with residency is 40% discount for the season. Second, I’m a Professional Chef by trade. Although I really only mostly handle the administrative end now, it’s what I do. The pandemic for all intents has really severely wounded the restaurant business. In my case, why would I go out to eat something that would be of less quality than I can create at home. I’m a decent golfer, but I’m a way better cook, way better. Plus, 15 years ago I spent $35K to really upgrade my home kitchen with all the toys bells and whistles. Anyways, this new group of kids (including my own) have lost their way, they no nothing about feeding themselves unless they tell a server what they want or pull up to the drive thru. AND you wanna know what’s worse than not knowing how to “boil water” they don’t know how to shop. I have maybe noticed a general food inflation of 2%. For instance, I am having some folks over tomorrow. I had this meal in the deep freeze since October. BabyBacks $2.99lb, wings, 1.89, pizza I always make myself, but the ingredients, I bought San Marzano tomatoes and I’m making homemade mozzarella and a 67% hydrated dough. If you know how to follow the ads for the supermarket, inflation isn’t there. CAB Porterhouse, I gettum custom cut 1.75 inches thick $5.99lb, Next week bone in rib-eye same! Etc They would not know how to do this:


That looks yummy, just perfection.
You’re right, however, don’t just blame the kids for being lazy. The modern digital related work is not labor intensive but really drains your head. Most of them would not want to cook after they get home from mental fatigue.
My wife and kids work in the healthcare field, they always believe in home cooking. Of course, we do go out a few times a month for something we could not easily duplicate at home. Wife is a great cook and so are my kids who learned from my wife.
Kids always prep their weekly meals during the weekend. Saturday will be the day for shopping and meal prep, cleaning… etc. They know how important it is to have a healthier diet.
In regards to your comment for the low priced supply. Most of us do not have access to whole sale market. Being in the restaurant business like you do will have access or connection to the supply chain which we won’t.
I used to know a guy who used to own a couple of grillroom and restaurants. He was the source for our company’s Summer picnic supply. Fresh Chesapeake Bay blue crab packed in boxes with ice and Alaskan Wild shrimp made the Cajun crab pot with the trimmings made the day with cold beverage, of course. We asked how to get that supply for our own use and he told us that was for the high end restaurant with established credits.
Anyhow, golf industry and everything else will bear the consequences of previous policy. The shifting of the weight is typical. So hang on to your moola, or better , put it to good use soon. Remember the high inflation rate in the late 80’s and early 90’s ? I remember the C.D. rate over double digit. Hopefully this time won’t get worse than that.
It will be interesting to see which one of the local golf courses drop their green fees or to bring back the discount rate for the senior/junior for this season.
For the most part of the country, the golf season is a “commodity”; when it’s gone for the year, it’s gone forever. We can not store the schedule for next month.

Those prices are local ShopRite, regular old retail. Let’s just say old timers know how to read an add, my wholesale price is less than retail. Our fees only went up, $2 for senior’s! Played today for first time since October, if I could putt I’d be dangerous. Shot 80….I left 6 birdies on the course. Overall a very good day

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Do not disclose where you live, because more will head your way for the good living. We don’t have the price point you were talking about, not even for whole sale level with State issued I.D.
Our municipal golf has been going up in green fees in the last couple of decades. No senior depending on the SSA retirement check could afford to golf.
Regular green fees had 4 fold in the last 35 years and t6he senior fee had tripled.
Used to be one fee, now it’s the green fee plus state sales tax + City tax + User’s fee + other garbage fee. Unfortunately, we copied the examples from the worst part of the country, simply because others are ding it.

I do live in NJ, southern part! We have some really nice public, probably the best golf course period…in the world. Pine Valley is 4 miles from my house. Our course is a muni. You pay a $45 resident card, it’s $29 this year to walk with the senior card and the green fee is all day. So we play 27 holes usually on a Saturday. Gas is high, but it’s high everywhere like I paid $3.34 yesterday and it would be lower they increased the gas tax 45 cents in the last 4 years and we don’t have to pump it ourselves, we have so many great courses, awesome wineries and craft breweries, weather is usually reasonable. I’ve never been a big vacation guy, so most of my income goes to eating well, maintaining the house and medical expenses fighting my wife’s disease. But I honestly can’t complain. There is a beautiful course about 12 miles from me and their membership is $2700 annually and that includes a cart unlimited 7 days a week. For my tastes and standard of living pretty good

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Sounds very reasonable for that parts of the Country.
Better than where I’m at and we’re flooded with incoming from all over the country. For whatever the reason, we had close to 1M.new residents in the last 12 months within the 3 Western Counties ( Puget Sound ). I’m certain just as many of the non-registered migrants as well.
It really puts the weight on the infrastructure. Even medical care, many of the established physicians and clinics are not taking “new patients”.
We have heavier tax on fuel than even N.J. Just yesterday, Costco Reg. unleaded was $4.00. Not to mention extra levy on “sin” tax, soda ( sugar), tobacco and spirits.
More people want to come here=more tax to keep up the infrastructure.
Sorry to hear about your wife’s health care issue, it is one of the largest expenditure for retiree. I know a lot of the guys in our group have the same concern going on in their family.
Currently, I prefer walking the golf course, and I’ll do it as long as I am able to. Half for the enjoyment and half for the exercise. Might have to frequent the golf courses that are built on a flatter terrain not too far in the future. One of these days, I would prefer to ride a golf cart ( it will be a blessing to be able to golf then).
Traffic is getting bad. Lots of license plates from out of States , which is a good sign that they might “move back” one of these days.
At least, we don’t have the water supply issue at this moment. Which will be the single largest problem we’ll be facing in the next 10-15 years.

Metro Twin Cities in MN here. The metro courses have been absolutely packed the last couple of seasons. On the one hand, great to see people getting into the game and ultimately creating the market for new courses and products. On the other hand, it’s difficult to get a tee times and the rounds can get pretty long if you don’t get out first or on the twilight time.

I wouldn’t say golf etiquette has really changed per say. Even before the last two years there were many experiences of slow play, not taking care of the course, and lack of fore calls. And that’s regardless of generation, not just the “younger generations”. To me, that’s ultimately up to the courses and their rangers to set the expectations and keep them, which most rarely do. There’s a few courses who have rangers that lay out all the expectations and patrol the course to remind people but not many.

I’ll typically drive out further to find some tee times or play first thing in the morning. Being gone all Saturday with a young kid at home doesn’t earn any points :joy:

From my perspective, golf courses have a hot market right now and they should absolutely mark prices accordingly. Simple supply and demand. Hopefully they use this time of boom to prepare for less profitable times so they don’t resume the trend of bankruptcies and course closings but we shall see.

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Very good, hopefully the trending will go on in your part of the woods.
I don’t see new development for golf to re-ignite in our parts anytime soon.
Real Estate is being used for higher and better purpose, like development for quick profit. Building a golf course is not on the radar in the high demand for land use here. They even threatened to take away the Municipal golf courses for development ( by non-golfing council members ), spent $300,000+ on a study to try to convince the citizens to bend toward their will. These are the same who ignorantly promoted the acceleration of changes ( to the worse ).
Never rock the boat before there is a clearly marked alternative, any kids will understand that.
For the golf industry, I wish it’ll grow in a panned, controlled way ( which is not likely ). I won’t quite this game for a long time so, hopefully the supply and the demand will even out. Only, the retiree will be caught between the price increase and the means to afford a traditional way of pastime for them.

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The one nice thing about our muni, it makes money, the pro runs it lean, and it’s protected by open space legislation. It’s the county bluebird reserve & trail and open bike trail. It’s a nice little course that’s very well maintained. The sad part in general around here is they’ve closed a few courses and sold the land for development. Of course that development never happened. It’s a shame that people only view things from a single platform, but if they would look at golf courses as a place where you could make money on multiple levels more would open. If I had the investors, I would show them how. I mean one of the courses around here is a functional vineyard. It’s awesome, plus an inn, and corporate retreat and incredible wedding and event venue.The Trail Ceres MTN Bike trail…perimeter of course


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True. However;
undeniably, in any growing community, the use of limited resources need to be prioritized; look back 10+ decades at most the metro development on the eastern seaboard, look at Southern California in the last 5 decades.
It is true, that most of the municipal golf courses will bring in revenue, and also the skirt industry like restaurants / bars, golf equipment…massage and physical therapy.
The point of argument from these non-golfers is focusing on the higher and better use than keeping the golf course near a metro area.
They forgo the health benefit for senior and retiree, open space close to a City. Many of our golf courses are “eco-friendly”, some have too many wild life year round, the common residents of the Canadian Geese, the coyotes, red hawk, bald eagle, fox…deer, elk and moose ? I had seen their hoof print on the greens.
It is less costly to tear down a golf course and build high density development on the land, not worrying about the impact on the traffic and infrastructure; instead of developing another community farther out from the City and not able to collect the tax on the development.
Whether you agree on the recent hike of the green fees or not, I had not been on the golf course like I used to. For the pandemics ( modified cup and flag stick ) and for not agreeing on them abandoning their bread and butter customers, by hiking up the green fees. Can’t stop the price hike, but I could stop giving them my pennies.
So I golf less and waited for almost 2 years. Visiting the driving range more than I did in the last 15 years.
Now, I start to see offering for discount ( down from the price hike ). 2 for 1; 4 for 3; These are not seasonal offering since most of them are good for a 12 months period. When will the golf course management realize the if they don’t seize the start of the season, they’ll have no season.
I certainly don’t wish for a collapse of the industry but I think at least in our region the price point will fall back to acceptable level.

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I look at opportunities as a capitalist. Not to get political and I’m not trying to cause arguments. But I truly believe that as a venue that has the space and abilities to create multiple points of revenues for self sustainability, golf courses can make money and attract families and businesses and should and could become centerpieces of a community. But just to view it as a golf course today, no it’s not profitable unless you have a strong private membership. I just truly feel that public courses with multiple and continuing forms of revenue generation is where we have to go in the future

This is the only place on Earth where the sport of golf is ( was) affordable by the general public. Affordable by comparing to other alternative activities.
The affordability is a big issue. I believe we are on the reverse gear heading back to 8 decades ago.
Our municipal golf courses had always turned a profit, and subsidizing other activities through the Parks and Recreation programs. If anything, the revenue collected from the municipal golf course were not being reinvested back to the golf courses. Now the trickle of revenue seemed too slow for those managing the program so they’d opt to kill the goose that lay the golden egg for a quick and larger reward.
Capitalism should work in the sense of the process of weeding out the unfit and those which could not compete. Problem is, who will decide which is fit or unfit. As the Nation’s retiree gaining a commanding portion of the population, keeping them healthy is better than subsidizing for their health care.
One of my buddy said it many, many years ago. He’d rather give his money to the golf course than to the medical care.
I don’t know. As a small potato in the sack; I can only decide which direction I’ll be heading. Lots of pennies will become a fortune, as so many shared my point of view.
The sport is addicting and I’d forgo many things in life to stay on the golf course; but , facing the reality , sometimes I’ can’t have what I want, and that’s not unusual.

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I’ll agree with you there. I’ll tell you a quick story that kinda pissed me off. The course where I learned how to play and because of its affordability was Freeway GC. It was one of the only wholly owned courses whose ownership was African American. As the old timers slowly died off it ran into financial difficulties and eventually had to close. I was truly hoping that a Tiger, or Jordan or some Black enthusiast would have picked up on it and just did the right thing, preserved some history, made a great investment, build around the perimeter of the property. In 2017 a group purchased the property for $1.25M. Paltry number. The design of the course is still there. I played with so many great people there. We weren’t black or white just gamblers on a course sharing a few libations and stories after the round. So much could have been done but it still sits there vacant and overgrown! I wish my township would have invested but oh well!

Municipality are shying away from the golf courses, it they inherited the golf courses. almost all of them are contracted out to some management company to run it. R.E. developer won’t care about the heritage of any kind, just their bottom line as R.E. development is a fast paced dog eat dog world. I wonder why they let the property vacant for so long. Which is odd, indeed.
This is one of the golf course I horned my game, when I started out in the late 70’s early 80’s.
https://www.historylink.org/File/3015#:~:text=The%20Jefferson%20Park%20Golf%20Course,Jefferson%20Park’s%2018-hole%20course.Not lengthy but the change with change of elevation and small greens made up for the length. Fred Couples grew up on this golf course when he was a kid.
It was also on the chopping block for development a few years back.
At it’s 100 years anniversary, the City decided to rebuild the club house and driving range and the restaurant. Over spent the budget and left nothing to deal with the out of bound complain by the neighbors along the 12th fairway. The 12th hole, WAS, a challenging par 4 with the fairway plateaued out and drop down to a shallow tricky green. Since the budget over blew building the new clubhouse restaurant and the two decks of driving range, no funding left for improving the net that preventing the slicers going over to the neighbor’s yards ( a line of old growth trees act like the net had deceased and died ), the City decided to move the tee box forward and made it a par three out of the old par 4. I waited for 6 years and dealt with the manager of the City Parks and Recreation to no avail. I quit golfing there. I can only protest by not golfing there.
It is located at the edge of the City and easy access for a quick round or a 9 before heading home in the Summer time . I have not been there for a long long time.
Same as anything else in life. Who’d knew TWA or Pam Am would gone belly up ? Mismanagement ? Can’t let those number smart but lacking experience to run the show.

Obviously, no one advised them of the etiquette for “keeping up with the group ahead of yours”. This is a digital age, most of them play by the “selective given rules” not much common sense. Just look at the divers on the roadway with GPS; they’re not using the GPS as a helpful tool but 100% relying on the GPS to tell them where to go. The delayed communication owing to the weather or the geographical blockage cause many of the last minutes lane change and near accidents. First and foremost, use your brain and eyes on the roadways, while moving several tons of steel at a high speed.
Golf is coming to that !
So many are sticking to the data and L/M while totally forgot about the game is played on real turf and real conditions. They are mostly anal with making the digital fitting “perfect” and forgot about to take a closer look at on course performance. It’s the digital generation following the marketing trumpet from the industry to "get fitted to get a perfect game " and totally forgot about the side of the golfer .
We all know a golfer with better physical ability and better eye sight who is able to make smarter decision will score a lower round. “fitting” is just a way to shorten the search, not the end of the journey.

I’m really surprised that the annual “Golf Show” in our area will happen in March 2022 after absent from 2021 .
It’ll be an indoor exhibit and event. With the removal of show the proof of vaccination for group indoor event and relaxing of the face mask requirement; many of the golfers I know are not going to this local golf convention.
Keep getting notice of ticket sale and promotional terms in the last few weeks. It’s getting close to the date on first week of the March, probably not having enough ticket sale at this point.
What I see in this is, the event organizer jumped the gun by assuming the restriction from the pandemics is, over. Verdict is still out there for the next few weeks after the Super Bowl event ( which is an open air event ) for large group gathering.
Almost all the golfers I know are not planning on going to the Golf Show, Of course most of them are senior golfers with more health related concerns either for themselves or for their family members.
I think, it’ll have much clearer prospective in the next 6 months.
I know the COVID-19 had a surge in cases in some Asian Countries just last week. First in Hong Kong, and now eyeing the China.
Still getting lots of promotional notice from golf stores and OEM, nothing really stands out as a must have at this point.
Like they say, drop the drawer if you mean it, testing the water will not get things done ,only irritate people.
I’m unsubscribing from several golf sources because they send “notices” everyday for weeks.