Golf Course Management

OCT 2014

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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Page 86 of 128

80 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 10.14 Mirror, mirror: Facing your future in the golf industry Industry veterans offer advice for steering a career course in changing times. How many times have you thought about your future in the golf industry? How often when you look in the mirror at 4 a.m. preparing to meet the day's challenges has your refection been steadfast rather than fearful? Have you noticed that there are more doubts than ever staring back at you or have you found a deep resolve and an outward confdence that holds true even in a funhouse mirror? Golf course superintendents stare into golf 's magic mirror each day and try to balance the decisions between resources and responsibility. Do you have the courage to face your future in the golf industry? Let's take a look into golf 's magic mirror and see what is staring back at us. Facing the statistics: The dark side of the mirror Experts in the golf industry use many statistics to forecast the future or quantify the past. Collectively, the business outlook in the golf industry is that the number of golfers in the United States has dropped from 30 million to 25 million since the recession began in 2007, or a decline of roughly 17 percent. Rounds played during that time frame dropped from 550 million to 465 million — a 15.5 percent decline. Studies show that these numbers can support the proftability of about 12,000 golf facilities. We currently have 16,000 golf facilities, so a little quick math reveals a 4,000-facility surplus. In the last few years we have lost an average of 150 courses per year; at this rate it will take over 26 years for the supply and demand to balance. It also points to Anthony L. Williams, CGCS AT THE TURN (career) Is the situation we see in golf's mirror scary? Yes. Apocalyptic? No. Photo illustration by Kelly Neis/photos by Montana Pritchard/

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