It’s a universal fact that the best golf courses in the world make money because they offer the best conditions for play. It’s as simple as that! writes Mike Sebastian
Too often, this critical consideration is overlooked and this is a challenge in most parts of Asia. The competition has never been so severe in this region and the pace of development of new courses has not been at a rate that it once was. Golf rounds are generally down and interest in the game is static. There is development around, but it has become more selective.
What does this all mean? Put simply, it means that the industry has to take a long, hard look at what it’s doing, and do it better.
To put all of this in perspective, the 2014 Asia Pacific Golf Summit has invited one of the industry’s most passionate and respected thought leaders to share his views on the challenge. He is none other than the irrepressible Stephen Bernhard, executive chairman of Bernhard and Company Limited.
While he acknowledges that a golf club is about hospitality, spas and tinsel, Bernhard is absolutely bullish that at the end of the day a good golf course is about excellent and consistently good play. So how do we deliver that?
Answer according to Bernhard is – give the player predictable, true, consistent and great looking turf on greens, tees and fairways too.
“The discerning player expects the greenkeepers and general managers to do just that. They expect them to look after the environment and they want every round of golf, every experience on the course to be good. And they are happy to pay for that – perhaps even to pay more,” Bernhard emphasised.
So how do we, the golf club owners and managers, achieve this goal? And what might the secret be? It’s simple and the best way to describe its simplicity is to use the cook & kitchen analogy.
According to Bernhard, “The best chefs in the world would never dream of using a blunt kitchen knife and one of the first things they will have learned is that a blunt knife rips and tears. What they want is a clean, surgically sharp cut. The same applies to the grass.”
No one could have articulated this case better and more eloquently than Stephen and we are honoured to have one of the true greats of the golf industry speak at APGS 2014.
APGS 2014 www.golfconference.org
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