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December, 2018 - In this issue

When most people think about how much it costs to play golf, they consider green fees, membership dues and other costs of playing the game.  Few, if any golfers ever think about how much it costs the golf course or club to produce the round(s) of golf one might play.
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For years, the debate has raged over whether municipal golf courses represent unfair, subsidized competition for privately owned, for-profit golf course facilities.  The golf course industry continues its contraction and courses compete for market share in an ever-shrinking market.  On the municipal side, local governments, feeling the pressure from ever tightening budgets and declining golf course revenues face political pressure to shed subsidized assets.
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I’m often asked by clients about the benefits and effectiveness of golf course management companies.  Those who’ve retained professional management services have had experiences from terrific to awful and everywhere in between.  Some say they’re just not sure if the fees are worth it.  While it might seem a simple analysis at first glance, I decided to pose a few questions to some of my professional golf course management friends. To avoid publicizing any “trade secrets” I’ve been asked not to name the respondents but will say that my feedback came from a large national firm, a medium sized national firm and a small, more regionally focused provider.
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