Lately, there’s been a lot of gloom and doom in the media about golf and it can be a vicious circle. If everyone says there’s doom and gloom, then everything can become doom and gloom if we let it.
Participation is down. People are time-sensitive these days. They now have different factors influencing their decisions on how much golf they’re going to play.
Do we need to change our businesses and our practices to evolve with that? Yes.
Do we need to jump into a hole and hide? No.
Why shrink from the challenge?
We need to do a better job promoting, marketing to a group of people with different priorities in the past.
I think the traditional side of golf is changing. I know I’ve had to check many of the things I grew up with at the door and I grew up in golf in a very traditional way.
If people want to play 10 holes or 12, let them go. People walking around your property is what you need.
At Cottonwood, we’ve got a great competitive base of members, but we also have a lot of people who don’t want anybody looking at their scores and who don’t want to put them into a computer. They just want to play golf and that doesn’t hurt anybody.
If they’re just playing socially or recreationally and they don’t put their scores into the computer, I’ll sleep at night.
Things are changing and have been changing for quite awhile and honestly, I think many of us just wanted to ignore it because of the way we’ve been introduced to golf and the industry.
At some point, we’ve got to tear down the walls and see what really needs to happen. I think we need to spend more time asking people what they want, instead of us trying to tell them what we think they need.
The game’s not going to go away. The industry has had its blips and it happens quite often. We have to control our own destinies, but that’s life.
I can’t get out of bed and accept that somebody else is going to dictate what I’m going to believe. Things are changing and we’ll have to change with that, but we can do that. We’re smart people and we won’t be brought down by so many articles that paint such a bleak future.