As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, I was really optimistic about extending the season into the fall after we were hit with nasty weather at the beginning.
Last year, we had a good three-week run in September when we were getting warmer temperatures than in the summer. This year, we haven’t had a day over 30 C.
Last week, it was about seven or eight degrees and our overnights were about one or two. On Friday morning, it was zero and it stayed about three or four until about noon. At five that morning, it was raining but turning to snow in some areas, even if it didn’t stick around.
I looked at my tee sheet and I was expecting about 60 people, even though if was a Friday. This year, I expect we’ll be down somewhere between 3,000 and 3,500 rounds compared to last year.
We’re a member club. I wouldn’t want to think what public courses in the area are going through without that member base, but even with us, it affects your food and beverage, your shop sales and the morale of your membership.
When the weather’s good, the beer is colder, the burgers taste better and the greens putt better, but when it’s rainy, drizzly and cool, it doesn’t matter what you do from a customer service standpoint, they’re disappointed and you can’t blame them.
You get members coming in and saying, `Wow, you guys have had a tough year,’ and my response is, `Wow, so have you.’
They’ve been shortchanged by the weather, which has a trickle-down effect on us. They’ve only got so many months to play. If your rounds are down because of the weather and they’ve paid their dues up front to play golf, they’re not going to spend a lot in other areas of your operation.
They’ve got X amount that they’re going to pay for golf and if they’ve already done that and they’re not getting enough rounds in, they’re not staying for the dinners and they’re not buying at the halfway house as they normally would. It makes a difference.
I don’t know much about weather patterns, but things have changed. We’re not open as early as we used to be and this year, we’re getting hit on the other end too. It’s weather and that’s the business you’re in – you accept it.
We still might catch a break, but it sure has been cool and there’s been snow in the mountains. The forecast isn’t showing any promise either.
All I know is that at this year’s buying show, I’ll be hesitant to ask, `How’s business?’