The Fi­nan­cial Strength of Golf Clubs

As we con­tinue the fo­cus on golf club per­for­mance mea­sures and the sup­port op­tions avail­able, let's take a look at the most con­crete of suc­cess mea­sures, the fi­nances.

New Zealand Golf Magazine - - FEATURE -

It’s old news to any­one in­volved in or ob­serv­ing the golf in­dus­try, that a por­tion of our golf clubs are un­der fi­nan­cial duress. But is it re­ally as bad as re­ported? And why do we spend so much time fo­cussing on the fi­nan­cial out­come of our clubs? Surely there are other mea­sures that are just as im­por­tant? Mem­ber and guest sat­is­fac­tion? Amount of golf ac­tiv­ity at the club? Ac­qui­si­tion and re­ten­tion rates of cus­tomers? The an­swer is fairly sim­ple. In the com­plex world of golf club lead­er­ship, the fi­nan­cial mea­sures seem the eas­i­est to un­der­stand and there­fore re­ceive the most fo­cus. From year to year a club will ei­ther make a profit or a loss. A profit is cel­e­brated and a loss be­moaned. Un­for­tu­nately, it is rarely that sim­ple. And while the out­comes are black and white, it is much more dif­fi­cult to iso­late the driv­ers of fi­nan­cial per­for­mance.

The fi­nances are also the most scru­ti­nised of per­for­mance mea­sures. With many members point­ing to, but not fully un­der­stand­ing them. It takes strong club lead­er­ship not to bow to the pres­sure of some members who tend to want a much greater qual­ity of­fer­ing but aren't as will­ing to open their wal­lets to sup­port it. As noted in the pre­vi­ous ar­ti­cles I think it's im­por­tant to take a mo­ment to re­flect on how well our club lead­ers per­form in such a chal­leng­ing en­vi­ron­ment.

There are sev­eral dif­fer­ent fac­tors that are cre­at­ing greater fi­nan­cial pres­sure on our clubs. While we could spend a lot of time dis­cussing them all, I have sum­marised a few of the key ones be­low: • Rapid and whole­sale in­crease in the costs as­so­ci­ated with golf op­er­a­tions • A re­duc­tion in the avail­abil­ity

of fund­ing • A sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in the cost of com­pli­ance and leg­isla­tive re­quire­ments for clubs • De­creased vol­un­teerism to

sup­port club op­er­a­tions • In­creas­ing tech­nol­ogy costs • An in­crease in ad­min­is­tra­tive costs as the in­dus­try re­quires highly skilled staff to lead it While this could paint a bleak pic­ture, there are a good num­ber of clubs who are thriv­ing de­spite the above chal­lenges. There are also a num­ber of sup­port op­tions avail­able for clubs to help them negate as much of the fi­nan­cial pres­sure as pos­si­ble. A few are dis­cussed here.


New Zealand Golf (NZ Golf) in part­ner­ship with n3 have cre­ated the Na­tional Group Buy­ing Scheme. n3 are a mem­ber­ship-only busi­ness buy­ing group that give over 12,000 busi­nesses ac­cess to ex­clu­sive sav­ings from New Zealand's lead­ing sup­pli­ers. Put sim­ply, they save golf clubs money by ne­go­ti­at­ing the best deals for them, us­ing the sup­port of 12,000 busi­nesses as lever­age. NZ Golf has paid for every golf club in the coun­try to have ac­cess to this buy­ing scheme. Cur­rently the scheme saves the in­dus­try around $175,000 every year.


Project Litefoot is a char­i­ta­ble or­gan­i­sa­tion whose pur­pose is to in­spire New Zealan­ders to be en­vi­ron­men­tal cham­pi­ons. Their sport-club spe­cific pro­gramme, “LiteCLUB” helps clubs re­duce their en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact as well as re­duc­ing costs. This is a free ser­vice that lever­ages lo­cal fund­ing. A team from LiteCLUB can re­place old light­bulbs with en­ergy ef­fi­cient bulbs, in­su­late hot wa­ter cylin­ders and pip­ing, in­stall aer­a­tors on taps to re­duce wa­ter use, cre­ate ef­fi­cien­cies through waste and re­cy­cling and pro­vide a full as­sess­ment to the club for fu­ture sav­ing. Work­ing closely with NZ Golf LiteCLUB have sup­ported golf clubs to save the in­dus­try more than $1,000,000 over the life­time of the prod­ucts. They have also sup­ported the in­dus­try in its en­deav­our to be en­vi­ron­men­tally sus­tain­able.


One of the many chal­lenges our golf club lead­ers face is at­tract­ing spon­sor­ship and build­ing suf­fi­cient long term part­ner­ships to fi­nan­cially sup­port the club. While in the hal­cyon days of the past it was enough to go to the busi­ness own­ers in the club and ask for a bit of cash in re­turn for a sign on the tee, clubs re­quire more ro­bust fi­nan­cial sup­port and there­fore need to of­fer greater, more mea­sur­able re­turn. The chal­lenge isn't of­ten in the club's abil­ity to do the work but in their abil­ity to ded­i­cate the re­quired time to such an enor­mous task. OnPar Ad­ver­tis­ing in part­ner­ship with NZ Golf have pro­vided a so­lu­tion. The OnPar team works with Golf Clubs to un­der­stand and re­alise their part­ner­ship po­ten­tial and ac­tively en­gages part­ners look­ing to in­crease their vis­i­bil­ity to the great num­ber of New Zealan­ders who play golf. OnPar sup­port clubs with on course sig­nage, ad­ver­tiser friendly web­site design and ad­ver­tis­ing

The Re­gional Sup­port Man­agers from NZ Golf can pro­vide anal­y­sis and guid­ance to clubs around their per­for­mance and help link clubs to­gether to work to­wards cost sav­ing.

email ser­vices that pro­vide fi­nan­cial sup­port to the club and a mea­sur­able mar­ket­ing re­turn to the part­ners.


The cost of tech­nol­ogy so­lu­tions has dras­ti­cally in­creased across most in­dus­tries glob­ally. While some may be­grudge the ex­pense, it is a re­al­ity of cur­rent so­ci­etal ex­pec­ta­tion. As we strive to com­pete with other in­dus­tries, golf needs to em­brace tech­nol­ogy for its abil­ity to en­hance the golf ex­pe­ri­ence. DotGolf pro­vide in­te­grated tech­nol­ogy so­lu­tions that de­liver a re­turn to clubs in sim­plic­ity and ef­fi­ciency, al­low­ing them to pro­vide great ser­vice to their cus­tomers and to get on with the job with­out be­ing stuck in the plethora of time con­sum­ing ad­min­is­tra­tion.

While DotGolf prod­ucts are rel­a­tively well known to the in­dus­try their pos­i­tive fi­nan­cial im­pact can't be un­der­stated. They sup­port the fol­low­ing; • Golf Op­er­a­tions • Mem­ber­ship, Hand­i­cap­ping

& Fi­nan­cials • Point of Sale Ser­vices • Web­sites & Mo­bile • Cus­tomer Re­la­tion­ship


Each club is unique and there­fore re­quires a be­spoke tech­nol­ogy so­lu­tion to en­sure they get the best bal­ance be­tween cost ef­fec­tive­ness and per­for­mance, some­thing which DotGolf is com­mit­ted to.


Last, but def­i­nitely not least, are the NZ Golf Re­gional Sup­port Man­agers based around the coun­try to sup­port the per­for­mance of golf. Of­ten it can be dif­fi­cult for a club to un­der­stand their fi­nan­cial per­for­mance, par­tic­u­larly in iso­la­tion. The Re­gional Sup­port Man­agers from NZ Golf can pro­vide anal­y­sis and guid­ance to clubs around their per­for­mance and help link clubs to­gether to work to­wards cost sav­ing or in­come gen­er­at­ing ini­tia­tives.

There are many con­sid­er­a­tions for golf clubs when ra­tion­al­is­ing their fi­nan­cial per­for­mance. It is im­por­tant for us in the golf in­dus­try to try and un­der­stand the fi­nan­cial pres­sures on our clubs and con­sider the com­plex­ity of golf club per­for­mance in­stead of point­ing straight to the bot­tom line. If you feel your club could ben­e­fit from any of the ini­tia­tives above, please di­rect them to­wards NZ Golf or the as­so­ci­ated part­ners.

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