I consider myself an optimist, but I see the economic recovery being more of a slow turn, than a fast turnaround.
If you asked me two months ago, I would have thought we’re going to climb right out of this, but I would venture to say now that the possibility of a double-dip recession is not a bad call.
It’s better than it was, but there is still that caution out there and we aren’t running our businesses well if we aren’t looking at the next three years before things are back on track.
I would have originally thought this year or next year and that would be it, but I think we’ve got more than that ahead of us.
Housing prices have come back a little bit here, but the other thing we have to get into our heads is that it was so good in this area between five or six years ago that it’s a pretty tough bar to reach for again.
I don’t see golf booming.
People are still making choices about which recreation they’re going to participate in with the money they do have, but they’re not going to spend money on two or three recreations and participate part-time in each of them, which means golf is going to attract the player who’s here almost every day.
If you look at membership prices, in this market, it’s about half of what it used to be and they’re not banging down your door to get them.
The other thing is that golf takes time.
The number of people leaving work on Thursday at 1 p.m. to go play golf is way down. Those people are now at work at 7 p.m., keeping their jobs. That’s also affecting family golf because parents might have to work Saturdays and can’t take the kids to the range or golf course.
I believe it’s going to get better, but there’s no magic button we can push to turn it around instantly. We all have to realize that those days in which we were doing the numbers we did in rounds or share sales are not there right now.
The bar was set pretty high back then, so we have to be cautious as to what we compare ourselves against.
The key is taking a hard look at what you’re doing and getting better at the things you can be better at and keep doing the things that are working, without trying to re-invent the wheel.