The 2020 Golf Season 
To put it mildly, the 2020 golf season was… a season like no other! After a slow and unsure start, although some British Columbia courses never closed and others opened and closed in March/ April things got back to “normal” by May. When we say normal, that is as normal as things could be. In our opinion based the information and photos we saw, the golf industry, as a whole, did an exceptional job dealing with and addressing concerns around the pandemic and 2020 ended up seeing rounds of golf numbers like the industry hasn’t seen since the late 90’s. A heart felt ‘well done’ to all the golf course owners and operators out there!

2020 Golf Business Observations
We learned a bunch of things from the pandemic. The key now is to build on what was learned and use it to plan for 2021:

  • The golf industry is in a good place with record numbers of new players coming into the game.
    • What are you doing to communicate with these new golfers for 2021?
    • Load your database with these golfers and keep them excited for the coming year.
  • Check-in and Pay is a good thing.
    • Are you saving money on accounting/ bookkeeping by not accepting cash?
    • You should be and should continue this practice.
  • Pace of play has never been better.
    • Are you keeping your 9 or 10 minute intervals?
    • You should, just because the demand was there, the experience of all golfers was never better.
  • Power carts rentals were at a premium.
    • Are you still allowing single riders if not in the same family?
    • You should, charge a premium fee for single riders and charge by the cart seat, not the cart.
  • Full service restaurants are not really profitable.
    • Was your restaurant closed for a period time during COVID-19?
    • You should keep your concession stocked and open at all times and limit (or close) you restaurant when it is not profitable. Golfers really just want a snack and cold beverage after a round of golf.
  • Tee time golf is really more profitable than shotgun starts.
    • Did you have more rounds of golf this year?
    • You likely had more inventory if you only ran tee time events in 2020. Consider this for any league play going forward as well.
  • Don’t mess too deeply with your pricing.
    • Did you have a good 2020 financial year?
    • This isn’t the late 90’s, keep your pricing to a 2 – 5% increase. Don’t be greedy.
  • Members play a lot of golf.
    • Did you find it a challenge to accommodate the demand for public play?
    • Consider restricting your member play to a number of rounds with an up-charge for additional rounds over that number, perhaps $10 – $20 for each additional round.

2021 looks like it could be similar to 2020. Stay happy, healthy and safe everyone!

We, Jeff and Tara Ciecko of CK Golf write two blogs, one is our 19th Hole Blog where we share personal experiences and the other an Industry Blog where we comment on general business and internet marketing best practices, sales strategies and give golf industry related opinions. We have recently started a Zoom call video series of Golf Industry Conversations. We have owned CK Golf  for 12 years and provide business services to the golf and other industries. As of July 31, 2016 our life and our business became ‘location independent’. Our 19th Hole Blog is about the places we visit and the things we do. If you have any questions or comments, or happen to be in the same location as us please reach out and contact us anytime.