Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Contents - An­drew Wild­man, Gaut­eng

Golf is the new Golf.

Think about this.You can­not en­ter­tain a cus­tomer on a three-hour sweaty moun­tain bike ride.And you can­not look more ridicu­lous than en­ter­ing a cof­fee shop at 7am in high tech cy­cling kit you can barely walk in.

The top golf clubs in South Africa have been re-in­vent­ing them­selves for the last decade, and trade is boom­ing.Their busi­ness con­cept re­al­i­sa­tion is sim­ple.They are no longer golf cour­ses, but lux­u­ri­ous, af­ford­able multi-faceted fam­ily and cor­po­rate en­ter­tain­ment venues. Pop into one of these venues Wed­nes­day through Sun­day and this is what you will see: ▶ Full car parks. ▶ Friendly ser­vice and help­ful staff. ▶ Golfers get­ting ready to play. ▶ Wives and children at the pools and / or play ar­eas. ▶ Grad­u­a­tion func­tions on the go. ▶ Wed­dings be­ing planned. ▶ Cor­po­rate brunches; lunches or meet­ings on the go. ▶ Wood fire pizza ovens fir­ing up, and the bar/ter­race wel­com­ing all to stay, play and have a won­der­ful day.

In short, our top golf­ing real es­tate has re­alised they of­fer the ul­ti­mate fam­ily en­ter­tain­ment area that is safe, re­lax­ing, wel­com­ing and ap­peals to the whole fam­ily. Can any­one re­mem­ber the old days? ▶ “Sorry Sir, you can’t tee off, you don’t have long

socks on!” ▶ “Sorry Sir, you can’t come into the bar, you are

wear­ing jeans.” ▶ “Sorry Sir, you gen­tle­men are too loud, please

keep it down.” ▶ “Sorry Sir, children aren’t al­lowed and please ask

them to stop mak­ing a noise.” Not only are those days dead, clubs that didn’t move with the times and re­alise this years ago are also DEAD!

Think about this. Not one new course has opened in the last decade that isn’t cart com­pul­sory or doesn’t have 60 carts or more in their fleet.Why? $$ bills: 30 000 rounds at an av­er­age R160 per player per cart gen­er­ates an ad­di­tional R4.8 mil­lion turnover per an­num that none of these des­ti­na­tions can be with­out.

Golf carts with high-end GPS sys­tems have been the fastest grow­ing rev­enue stream (sec­ond to green fees) the last decade. Now we have lithium-pow­ered elec­tric scoot­ers (Fe­bru­ary) which en­able clubs to of­fer their cus­tomers ex­cit­ing in­no­va­tions along­side the cart.These bikes will never re­place it, but are the per­fect ac­ces­sory for to­day’s mar­ket, cool, hip and fun to ride.

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