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Diversification & Golf Financials

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beninho
McLaren
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Post by JAS Fri 26 Mar 2021, 9:20 am

Here's a conundrum for y'all. The article in the link is an interview with the guy that runs our golf complex (the complex and the Club are separate entities). The council leased it out to him just over 6 years ago. Have the facilities improved meantime? Yes they have....however.

He has plans to tear up 3 holes of the 9 hole course to put 5 aside football pitches there and an adventure golf facility (from what I understand a kind of glorified crazy golf). There are also plans for a triple deck driving range. So basically we would go from an 18 and a 9 to an 18 and a 6 with an expanded revamped driving range, adventure golf and 5 a side football facilities onsite.

https://golffeatures.com/content/people-golf-jeremy-sturgess

The majority of the Club members are up in arms and bombarding the council with objections (the planning permission hearing is in the next couple of weeks). I'm a bit concerned on 2 separate levels
1. In the drive for commercial exploitation the Clubs voice will be ignored (the club and complex have always had a good mutually beneficial relationship). This is what most are complaining about that the relationship will be lost.
2. If rejection of the Planning permission succeeds, will he pack up his toys, take them elsewhere and let the facility degrade?

What would you do if this was your home club/facility?

JAS

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Post by McLaren Fri 26 Mar 2021, 11:22 am

The whole thing sounds ghastly. I would find a proper club to join.
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Post by JAS Fri 26 Mar 2021, 11:44 am

McLaren wrote:The whole thing sounds ghastly. I would find a proper club to join.

What’s your criteria for a proper club Mac?
Most in the area are now between £1000 & £1400 I currently pay £95 annual subs for the Club and £60 per month direct debit for unlimited course access.

Not that I’d baulk at paying a little bit extra (Bowood, Kingsdown and Cumberwell Park are all closer to my new address and are better courses/facilities) just not quite the same camaraderie. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t at least considering a move though, not this season but longer term I might

JAS

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Post by beninho Fri 26 Mar 2021, 12:13 pm

I'm not a member anywhere, as I don't play enough. The scenario here seems annoying, but also sort of understandable. Mam wants to make money. Adventure golf attracts families and one bear me is regularly busy. Driving ranges always seem busy. Stick a little cafe on and even more money. The 9 hole near me, has an AG store, range Adventure golf and soft play and cafe.

Out of them all, I've only not played the 9 holes.

beninho

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Post by McLaren Fri 26 Mar 2021, 12:14 pm

Not sure there is a strict criteria as such, but we all know what I mean by a proper club. You are currently a member of something more akin to gym or cinema complex. Get your mates out and find a more traditional set up.
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Post by JAS Fri 26 Mar 2021, 12:22 pm

McLaren wrote:Not sure there is a strict criteria as such, but we all know what I mean by a proper club. You are currently a member of something more akin to gym or cinema complex. Get your mates out and find a more traditional set up.

...and reacquaint myself with old style golf snobbery? :-p

JAS

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Post by JAS Fri 26 Mar 2021, 12:23 pm

beninho wrote:I'm not a member anywhere, as I don't play enough. The scenario here seems annoying, but also sort of understandable. Mam wants to make money. Adventure golf attracts families and one bear me is regularly busy. Driving ranges always seem busy. Stick a little cafe on and even more money. The 9 hole near me, has an AG store, range Adventure golf and soft play and cafe.

Out of them all, I've only not played the 9 holes.

Are you by any chance near Mr Sturgess’s other facility then Ben  I.e. Trent Park?

JAS

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Post by McLaren Fri 26 Mar 2021, 12:36 pm

JAS wrote:
McLaren wrote:Not sure there is a strict criteria as such, but we all know what I mean by a proper club. You are currently a member of something more akin to gym or cinema complex. Get your mates out and find a more traditional set up.

...and reacquaint myself with old style golf snobbery? :-p

Jas, as you know golf clubs are not my idea of a good time but at least with a more traditional club the golf is at the heart of the organisation.
McLaren
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Post by beninho Fri 26 Mar 2021, 1:26 pm

I'm more West London not North.

https://westlondongolfcentre.co.uk/

This is the one near me. They are meant to be building a new 18 hole on the other side of the road, though not sure how it's going. Owned by same who own the Shire, I think.

beninho

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Post by dynamark Fri 26 Mar 2021, 7:10 pm

No clue where you are but back in the day we had ideas about a 27 hole set up and its a waste of time and effort on the whole .A decent 18 hole course is the key the extra holes probably only used rarely and they cost to be looked after.So if you have a good 18 and club set up forget the other stuff,If he has a long lease then you can be fairly sure he is commited a good 18 hole course is key

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Post by dynamark Fri 26 Mar 2021, 7:13 pm

Sorry just read again and do know where you are but same comment good 18 hole course you can play and get to know all the blades of grass borrows on the greens etc.

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Post by beninho Fri 26 Mar 2021, 8:02 pm

Just read the link in the original post. The mention of Lime Trees Park is the exact same place linked to in my post. Though it was dormant for years after yer man sold it, before it was turned into what it is now.

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Post by BlueCoverman Sun 28 Mar 2021, 12:13 pm

dynamark wrote:No clue where you are  but back in the day we had ideas about a 27 hole set up and its a waste of time and effort on the whole .A decent 18 hole course is the key the extra holes probably only used rarely and they cost to be looked after.So if you have a good 18 and club set up forget the other stuff,If he has a long lease then you can be fairly sure he is commited a good 18 hole course is key

Not sure that I entirely agree with you there Dyna. We have an excellent 9 hole course which complements our 18 hole course perfectly. Used extensively by the Junior section, people just starting up the game and those members coming towards the end of their golfing days who just want to play 9 holes. We are building a new clubhouse starting this year, included will be a cafe and coffee bar open to the general public, a putting green free to use for non-members and toilet facilities open to the public. All great ideas designed to keep the golf club much more welcoming and in touch with the local community, got to be the way forward in my opinion.

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Post by LadyPutt Sun 28 Mar 2021, 4:30 pm

BlueCoverman wrote:
dynamark wrote:No clue where you are  but back in the day we had ideas about a 27 hole set up and its a waste of time and effort on the whole .A decent 18 hole course is the key the extra holes probably only used rarely and they cost to be looked after.So if you have a good 18 and club set up forget the other stuff,If he has a long lease then you can be fairly sure he is commited a good 18 hole course is key

Not sure that I entirely agree with you there Dyna. We have an excellent 9 hole course which complements our 18 hole course perfectly. Used extensively by the Junior section, people just starting up the game and those members coming towards the end of their golfing days who just want to play 9 holes. We are building a new clubhouse starting this year, included will be a cafe and coffee bar open to the general public, a putting green free to use for non-members and toilet facilities open to the public. All great ideas designed to keep the golf club much more welcoming and in touch with the local community, got to be the way forward in my opinion.
My course is a 9-hole course. Nothing wrong with that. Allows for more flexibility in these busy times. We have 9 and 18 hole competitions twice every week.
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Post by dynamark Mon 29 Mar 2021, 12:41 pm

Guys personally ive just never seen the extra 9 work . 2 courses in Leicestershire did it and both were almost unused but needed looking after.LP nothing wrong with a nice 9 hole course at all.The only time Ive seen the 27 work is out in spain and portugal where the courses are rammed with punters all day long.Yer basic income stream is green fees all the rest are nice add ons and help a club in general but do not add a lot to the bottom line.

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Post by JAS Tue 30 Mar 2021, 8:38 am

dynamark wrote:Guys personally ive just never seen the extra 9 work . 2 courses in Leicestershire did it and both were almost unused but needed looking after.LP nothing wrong with a nice 9 hole course at all.The only time Ive seen the 27 work is out in spain and portugal where the courses are rammed with  punters all day long.Yer basic income stream is green fees all the rest are nice add ons and help a club in general but do not add a lot to the bottom line.

Over the past few years our 9 has been an incredible breeding ground for junior development. I've seen young kids go from barely able to get the ball in the air to international level (we have a junior girl who's been capped by Wales, our other junior girls form the core of the county ladies squad. There's several junior boys in the county squad too). Obviously it's not just the 9 holes, it's the whole academy set up and the work around it but the 9 is an asset that's helped that to happen without adversely affecting the availability of the 18 hole course.

Will that continue with 6 holes (the plan is also to have different tees to effectively have 12 holes)?. At entry level (tiny Tigers) I don't think it'll make much difference, indeed it may be a better introduction for really young kids. The program is graded from tiny Tigers, through Tigers, super Tigers to full juniors. The challenges will come more as Super Tigers transition to full juniors i.e what sort of handicapping legitimacy will a 6/12 hole set up have? I don't see it as an insurmountable challenge but there is a lot of consternation over the loss of 3 holes and that is one of the arguments being put forward.

JAS

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Post by JAS Mon 05 Jul 2021, 2:09 pm

Still waiting on the outcome of the planning application but it appears quite a few long term members are already spreading their wings and flying the nest as it were. Pretty sad that the Club (rather than the complex) will be the big loser here. As a past Captain I feel a strong affinity with the club but at the end of the day I don't want to be hooking my approach on 18 into the adventure golf area.

I'm still hedging my bets for now but I suspect I will move next year (assuming the plans get the nod). Narrowed it down to either Kingsdown (traditional Club) or Cumberwell (90's upstart but 45 holes and counting plus the best short game practice facility in the South-West, plus a golf monthly Top 25 coach) only trouble is Cumberwell has a waiting list.

So a question for you all would be...if moving clubs what weight would you give (on a scale of 1-5 - 1 being couldn't give a monkeys 5 being essential)...Course as a test? Course enjoyable to play? Course conditioning throughout the year, Ease of booking Sat morning tee times? Ease of booking any tee times? Membership camaraderie? Number of comps? Social side? Good Peripheral facilities (Range/short game/Putting green)?

JAS

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Post by I'm never wrong Mon 05 Jul 2021, 4:28 pm

Course as a test? (2) Don't want too hard a course. don't want to struggle all the time. Super would probably be the opposite.
Course enjoyable to play? (4-5)
Course conditioning throughout the year, (4-5)
Ease of booking Sat morning tee times? (N/A for me)
Ease of booking any tee times? (4-5) We've gone to the IG app. Have to be quick on the draw on t'internet to get the tee time you want.
Membership camaraderie? (4-5)
Number of comps? 1 a week is fine for me (Seniors) But I could do more if I want as a mid week member.
Social side? (1) Not important for me. Play and have a chat with my mates is enough for me.
Good Peripheral facilities (Range/short game/Putting green)? (3)

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