The Multi-Course Resort & Operators Retreat 2023 has wrapped, and what a fantastic event it was. We are proud that Supreme Golf was able to participate as an Executive Partner of the NGCOA.
Here are some of our key takeaways from the 2023 event and the current state of the golf industry, including opportunities ahead.
Golf is in a great place
Participation continues to grow for the golf industry as a whole, including both on and off-course golf, with no sign of slowing down.
The hiring slump
It is still incredibly difficult to hire. More than ever, operators need to take care of their staff, as they are vital to delivering a great experience. And in 2023, we know experience is everything.
The power of off-course golf
Golf is “cool” again. Golf fashion and social media influencers are driving engagement with the industry more than ever, both on and off-course. Once an added “bonus,” — metric/entertainment technology such as launch monitors, track man, toptracer, etc., are steadily moving to be an industry standard.
Are the increasing number of off-course golf experiences growing on-course golf numbers as well? We know that 20% of new green-grass golfers had their first golf experience at an off-course facility — so you decide.
To raise or not to raise rates
The opportunity for increasing rates is not nearly as robust as immediately post-COVID, but there’s still opportunity. Those willing to get more granular with tools and software, like dynamically pricing tee times, are finding tremendous success.
While the COVID golf boom continues to trail off, it’s important to note that there is still stimulus money in bank accounts. The bright side — Most of the golfer base is transitioning from Baby Boomers to Generation X, Millenials, and Generation Z. These generations (especially post-pandemic) spend more money on experiences and are willing to pay a premium to get a better experience. This shift favors resorts, travel, and “exclusive” clubs, memberships, and experiences.
The race to tap into the younger generations with both on and off-course golf has already begun. For example, underutilized resources can now be packaged as VIP offers, and platforms like Revenue365 enable courses to monetize them for a generation hungry for something premium.
Platforms like Supreme Golf & Barstool Golf Time are digitally connecting facilities to golfers. They combine both on and off-course golf and enable users to book via an app while providing incentives like rewards and merchandise. At the same time, prominent social media players like Barstool Sports drive new, younger golfers to the game.