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Written by: Betsy Babu
Times have now critically changed and revenues are dwindling. The Covid-19 pandemic has affected all major industries with the Golf Industry being no exception.
The lockdown resulted in day-to-day loss of revenue to the 240-odd golf clubs across the country. From loss of green fee (for walk-in golfers), capitation fee (for hosting social events), Food & Beverage (F&B) and golf cart/ caddy fees, clubs are missing a major chunk of their revenues. With social distancing being a priority and F&B along with other additional revenues on hold for at least a year, it has become inevitable for the Golf Course Management to focus on their revenue from the ‘sport of golf’ and adapt to the dynamic digital environment.
All the Golf courses, especially member golf courses, are going to witness a noticeable gap in their Balance Sheets with a huge decline in revenues in coming months. It is high time that Golf courses in India change from their 'Members only’ Concept to a more ‘Game of Golf’ focus, service oriented approach for business and also get at par with golf courses around the globe. “Pay & Play and Domestic Golf Tourism could be the new king”. At times like these where everyone is going digital, the involvement of IT will play a pivotal role in the implementation of this change which in the long run will insinuate a more engaging and enhanced customer experience. To keep revenues going, prominence needs to be given to increase regular golfers and not just Tandoori (non-golfing) members. Keen focus should also be given to make it easier and accessible for Pay & Play with priority given to registered members to make their Tee Time bookings and payments.
India’s first public golf course and Delhi’s favourite, “The Qutab Golf Course” has opened the revamped front nine to its members and Golf players in the city. By making use of technology, like implementing Real Time Tee Inventory Management System and its dedicated Golf Concierge (golf customer telephone number), the Qutab Golf Course has managed to reduce direct human contact significantly. Qutab generates good revenue from the Pay & Play and still manages to give priority to its members without having any ripples between the two. It is also commendable that Qutab is going neck to neck with standards of global golf courses in services to its members, enhancing revenues and is reconciling with the wavering environment. This setting is a rather noteworthy example for the other courses which are yet to adapt to changing scenarios.
If you want to stay in the run and adapt to the dynamic times, Golf Courses need to ask themselves some important questions like:
Golf is now an Olympic sport. The Golf Courses play a critical role in enhancing the game by opening its doors wider. On an average a golf course can generate up to 2 crore+ INR/year additional revenue by opening limited Pay & Play slots.
In these changing times let us explore, change and adapt to what is good for the business and the growth of Golf.
Let's learn and evolve together!!!