Pepperturbo, on 05 April 2018 - 01:01 PM, said:
TadWPJ, on 04 April 2018 - 05:17 PM, said:
Pepperturbo, on 04 April 2018 - 02:23 PM, said:
Walking fees are becoming more common since operational costs are increasing, while in some cases, membership numbers are decreasing. Cart fees are asigned to the Head Pro's comp plan, and depending on charter, his/her staff.
Because costs are increasing more members are walking to save $$$, which cuts into Cart revenue. That revenue loss must be recovered from somewhere, so walking fees and or pull cart fees are the most likely target. I was on the board of Pvt equity club and benevolent owner club.
Inflation isn't a new thing, but I do understand maint budgets slightly increasing with Healthcare. Let's not paint walkers as cheap skate's. I've seen keepers leave and build their own course and the maint is better then the prior club they were at and they do it for $200-350k less. There is a LOT of waste at private clubs and they continue to focus on REVENUE and not the wasteful expenses. If you are relying on cart fees to break even, then your model is jacked up. The problem is private clubs think they are only competing against other private clubs for members, upscale and destination exist now and people have options they didn't have 25+ plus years ago. Also as stated prior GM's can make 30-50% more then fine dining restaurants in town that have a 12 month season. Club pro's used to rely on giving lessons for a nice chunk of income, now they are door greeters.
chachd, on 04 April 2018 - 01:17 PM, said:
Interesting that when you follow this thread you see why so many private clubs are in financial distress. I live on a private club and have been a member in the past. They are constantly struggling but are happy now that they've hijacked 30 members from another private in the area. They charge $24 cart fee and require carts before 2 pm. You can walk and pull a cart but you have to rent theirs for $15, and can't bring your own. There are 7 private clubs in my area and the last one was added in 60's. I know that at least 4 are having financial problems. All but one are resistant to doing things that might add members as not being the way that we do things!! No sympathy from me - you all deserve the problems with your elitist attitudes.
I know your area well and know exactly which course(s) you are talking about. It's funny the one with lowest dues and 3rd best track in the area has NO debt, no walking restrictions, and a near full membership. Consider a National membership. Your last sentence is spot on, they would rather close their doors then admit the idiocy of their attitudes. It pisses me off to see Golden Age courses in danger of NLE due to elitist attitudes.
The bold statement above does NOT paint ALL walkers as cheapskates. Re-read and include all the words. A lot of people join clubs without knowing actual long-term annual costs and become uncomfortable spending $800-1500 a month +. I am acquainted with three-course owners and been chairman of the finance/budget committee that pays bills at two clubs with heafty budgets, all included bar, restaurants, one had tennis & pool club as well. I talk from my experiences, NOT conjecture from sidelines. You speak of four seasons as if applicable for all clubs: it's NOT. There's also a large difference between a golf club that has food serivce and a full size country club, some with multiple courses. Private clubs are owned and managed by charters & benevolent owners/corps or equality membership. Bars or club rooms generate the most revenue because of booze, regardless of the season. NO club that I've been to or been part of showed all P&L segments as profitable. One or two segments had the largest black ink revenue streams which offset red ink segments.
Curious, you present yourself as a P&L expert. Did you own a course or are you CEO / President of a golf course, mulit-division or bar/resturant chain? I ask because I'd like to know what your basing your opinions on. Mine comes from having run my my own multi-division P&L company for over forty years and actual board experiences.
I find it almost entertaining when people on golfwrx argue over effective club management, when most never have run a multi-million dollar P&L. When people are rich, they have every right to piss money way, however, they see fit. Most members of private clubs have some degree of wealth and accept club costs knowing individual club membership is expensive. However, some clubs are rather simple structure and not costly by comparsion. Clubs in CA, AZ and TX that I frequent are on the mid-high end.
I am acquainted with one guy that left my last club and now owns three semi-private clubs. Three others left a club and bought a club together. Each of them figured they could afford to lose 100k per month, out of pocket, against operational cost red ink, each month for three years. They eventually sold the club for less than they paid and didn't care because they got their investments worth elsewhere. Wealth has its perks. Have a good day.
If you are wealthy enough to be spending $800-1500 a month on dues (which is like .5% clubs), then complaining about a walking fee means you are poser or an idiot for paying that much to be a member at a club. Exclusiveness is earned, not bought. I have very close friends and one who has built 28 courses and owns 3 of them. We talk weekly. I've opened courses from scratch, worked golf construction, have close friends that are GM's, keepers, Archies, and pro's and they seem to value my opinion. Have many family members and close friends that have served on boards, they advise me I have better things to do with my time. There are Golf clubs with pools (grew up at one) and I've played many high end and highly ranked CC's regularly with $7M budgets. My wise friends know the minute successful members drive through the gates they lose all rational thought and senses. Serving on boards isn't valuable experience, any member owned club's financials can be looked up online. I never proclaimed to be a P&L expert, most solutions require common sense, which isn't common at private member owned joints. Again board experience at a club is an excuse to get away from your wife, nothing gets done 99% of the time.
The big one in
area is a top 100 and they are $2M in debt. The best burb in town has a median income of $91,000, with the GM of that said club making $200,000 a year for a 6 month season. This stuff isn't rocket science. I'm a small business owner of 14 years and plan on buying a golf course in 12 years, nothing fancy just good land and good bones that is neglected. Clubs in AZ, CA, and TX big cities doesn't represent Golf in Fly over area and most of the US. I live in a city of 5M people, with some very good clubs, only one has dues in the price range you listed. I only know of 1 CC in my current state where they make money on F&B, it's because the downtown has no nice restaurants. Everyone knows that men's grill rooms make money due to alcohol sales, but then explain why money gets poured into the money loser areas of the club? Which then leads to the justification of walking trail fees. Smart clubs, even ones with $7M budgets that used to just close the month of Jan, now close 3 months out of the year. This thread mainly is talking about 2nd and 3rd tier privates that are in danger of going NLE after next downturn and pose like it's the 1950's. Lastly many of the people that posted on this thread are possibly potential members of clubs, they are the market, might wanna start listening to your customers.