Earlier this month, we discussed the current influences on the mood of consumers, golfers for purposes of this blog, with topics such as the rising cost of gas, the soaring loonie and the first full year of charging the HST in places such as British Columbia and Ontario.
Also on GNN, we’ve been discussing the fact that inflation could become a factor, not only will the rising cost of fuel, but also necessities such as food. The possibility of rising interest rates could be a big factor in the disposable incomes of our members and public golfers.
Who knows about the weather? Flooding on the prairies and a prolonged winter in Alberta, for example, have delayed the start of the season in those regions of Canada and what the summer will bring is anybody’s guess.
Even without these influences, due to a lack of hard and fast numbers, we’re never quite sure where the participation rate stands, which can affect everything from the pro shop to food and beverage.
It’s an unpredictable time in the golf industry, but one thing we can count on is golfers complaining about the cost of playing the game, not aware or perhaps not caring about the costs of operating a golf course.
Golf courses are apparently working to cut costs. In a recent GNN poll, 57 per cent of respondents expected their staff to be about the same size as last year, but 39 per cent said their staff would be smaller than in 2010.
The problem is how far can you take that before affecting the service levels at your operation and risk turning off clients/members that way?
Yet, revenue is essential to maintaining a high service level and making your operation something that both you and golfers can be proud of this year. The question is how will your golfers respond to your 2011 rates?
That brings us to the GNN Poll question for this week.
What are you doing with your 2011 memberships / fees?
- Standing pat (48%)
- Raising them (41%)
- Lowering them (11%)
You can vote on that question below or on the GNN home page and, as always, feel free to expand your thoughts on the challenges you face when setting your fees in the Comments section below.