Luis DeSouza, Golf Consultants Association executive member and CEO of a technology company writes……
“I am of the opinion that the technology landscape for clubs has changed in recent years, where the focus of more traditional/standard clubs, offering membership and green fee play, is turning to revenue generation rather than breaking even from membership subscriptions.
I am increasingly being asked by clubs for ways to drive visitor revenue, which is fast becoming as vital for the clubs as membership subs are. These traditional/standard clubs should be focusing on offering their visitors a really slick online experience from booking tee times on mobile apps to social media postings. These channels are gradually driving revenue at clubs, but will grow considerably in the next 18 months as more and more people succumb to the age of technology, both online and mobile. Don’t be left behind, it will be a hard battle to claw your way back up if you miss the boat.
Integrated club management software is still high on the agenda of truly membership focused clubs as well as the very high end facilities, but those clubs in the middle arena, competing to attract the same transient golfers, are pushing green fee revenue hard, whether that is for society golf or individual green fee payers.
My experience in the hospitality market over the past 20 years, tells me golf is slowly catching up to the way hotels and restaurants do business, driving revenue through certain channels whilst bolstering their brand and offerings. I am not saying I think clubs should go completely the way of hotels, but taking elements of the way they do business could really help golf clubs drive visitor revenue.
So, in my opinion, what are the 5 key drivers for increasing revenue in this technological change?
(1) mobile apps
(2) online bookings
(5) yield management.
Focusing on these 5 elements should ensure increases for clubs in that all important green fee revenue stream. However, this revenue stream doesn’t end here; footfall through the club also generates F+B revenue as well as the opportunity to convert these visitor golfers into members. So don’t rest on your laurels.
In conclusion, working with a number of clubs in the industry, it has become clear that green fee revenue is a massive focus for clubs, and in my opinion, can really help clubs in this current climate not only just survive, but if done right, strive to a very successful future!!”
Luis De Souza, Chief Executive, NFS Technology Group, is an executive member of Golf Consultants Association and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org