A Possible Game Changer? “Everyone is talking about how the game needs to change,” writes Paul Dellanzo
“Everyone is talking about how the game needs to change. From our view one has to understand the market segments to develop new players. This initiative is exclusively the work of our Lead Architect, Dr Beatrice Franceschi, PhD, potentially the most exciting young design talent to emerge for some time and working with us on design projects in Croatia, Italy and Oman,” said Chairman, Paul Dellanzo. “A completely new course design composite to allow players to play a course in numerous ways in no more than 2.5 hours. It is being patented so impossible to expand on the minute detail right now. Our thoughts are to allow other architects to access the concept too so we can democratise the idea and hopefully it can be adopted in multiple countries.”
“The new design concept can be on a full piece of land or a smaller footprint allowing many variations of the game and very importantly allowing the player/s in a way to be like the designer, deciding which preferred routing they wish to play or course management to choose for them a different routing each time. There can be a regular length course or a variable course playing all Par 3’s, 4’s or 5’s or any combination of. It is designed in such a way so as to be played in a much shorter period of time allowing a wider market segment to enjoy the game who don’t necessarily even play golf right now,” said Dr Franceschi. “Players will be able to play all kinds of combinations because of the new layout and accommodation of direction and time required, playability and an ever changing challenge for them. One can play a full course or three, six or nine holes or any variation of with friends and family. We are not trying to replace traditional courses and clubs by any means just try to address some of the issues that haven’t been thought of to date, it might just lead to a new form of the game being played though by more people.”
“We examined all the initiatives, issues and industry trends that we are aware of and our team of analysts at Dellanzo Group did a thorough study and realised quickly some factors preventng people from taking up the game. I always say we are not in the golf business, we are in the entertainment business,” said Paul Dellanzo. “If we do not entertain, people will go elsewhere to be entertained. There is an untapped market that would like to play a form of golf without the long process currently to take on every aspect of the game and club golf as we know it. One consistent piece of feedback was that potential new players did not want to belong or play at a club they believed would be snobbish or restrictive or possibly just make them feel they were being looked down on in some way.
“It makes no sense to us for the industry to keep doing the same thing and expecting better results. Neither is the discount mentality seen in recent years and ever changing flexible membership market and pricing going to save golf clubs from a slow and painful death in some cases. That established modus operandi from a business perspective will not deliver a fast enough turn around of the industry but instead just deliver a competition to take each others’ members and players in a geographic cluster forcing ever more discounting and even worse financial results in some cases.”
“In our view golf has to change and change fast creating new concepts and solving the problem of time taken to play,” said Company Director, Emilio Dellanzo. “We envisage an opportunity for Golf Entertainment Centres in the future and this to be very attractive to developers who would like to widen their offer. In Croatia we are doing an 18 hole course and a nine hole with the new concept.”
Anthony Ritossa of Ritossa Olive Oil & Family Office in Croatia said, “Dellanzo Group were able to work with us on the vision, master plan , financials, management and business model, a very detailed 360 degree service. Their business advisory and design teams are first class. We looked at many brand designers before choosing Dellanzo Group . One needs to be on the leading edge of industry trends to reduce risk going forward and maximise revenue opportunities.”
“We need new blood and new players,” said Emilio Dellanzo. “People who do not play right now will not play the game in the future because of its image of being mainly too slow, too expensive and possibly too elitist and the fact that it has not kept up with societal changes. For my generation golf on television seems too slow also, the millenials flick through channels or web sites and it just doesn’t keep their interest for more than a few seconds. There is a market for people who do not play golf to take up the game if it is a different concept. One where they can play various numbers of holes in a social and entertaining environment. Much as one goes to play darts with a few friends or bowling or other sports where there is music, fun, you can rock up knowing you are going to enjoy your time with family or friends for a couple of hours maximum. Where the result is not the objective, where it is much more relaxed with regards to what clothing you wear, and not perceived as snobbish, where you can be cheering on your friends or corporate clients or colleagues loudly, and where you do not have to take forever to learn etiquette and the rules.
“Basically the new model will have to be a game with well priced offerings and preferably not take more than a couple of hours, that allows people to stay connected with their smart phones etc. It will focus more on entertainment or other ancillary facilities with the opportunity to play a little golf also. Events can be arranged that are fast and fun with numerous ways of engaging and entertaining players in ways that do not involve playing a full course, just getting out there with friends or colleagues for a short period. People entertain themselves in many ways, they go regularly for walks, cycle, go to a health club, do other sports or go out to dinner or the cinema or some other activity with friends. Most of those activities cost less and none take much more than a couple of hours. It is all going to be about keeping up with entertainment trends, fashion, food and the speed society moves at in the age of internet and needing to stay connected.”
“In our small way we are trying to contribute to help grow the game and be ahead of the curve and social trends that affect it,” said Paul Dellanzo. “We need to embrace change and those of us who can, must make every effort to be the change agents. Whether it is foot golf, disc golf, adventure golf courses etc, by embracing new players and new formats golf and its development can continue to be dynamic. Probably a bit like snow boarders may not have been appreciated years ago by traditional skiers but it was and is considered cool and as they got older many became regular skiers and in part helped save that industry from stagnation. Also some of the best players in the world right now are very young and that has the possibility of creating interest in a new generation of players. When Dr Franceschi sent me her design plans it took me some time to study them as they are so different and then it was like a Eureka moment, something completely new. It would be nice to see the game be more inclusive rather than exclusive, the crowd at The Masters looked like it represented corporate America rather than the cultural melting pot that the USA actually is. It would be great to see a much wider cross section of society attending tournaments and wanting to get into golf. The game offers so much and whilst the players on tour are great athletes now, the game is still multi generational and can be actively played by all ages rather than other sports where one becomes a couch potato just watching on television.”
Dellanzo Group is an asset management company specialising in development, management, marketing, and golf business advisory services with numerous awards and experience in opening some of the world’s finest courses on three continents.
Dellanzo Ltd is the trading name of Dellanzo Design based on England’s Golf Coast specialising in course design, course renovation services and project management.
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