Texas Golf Association, Since 1906
Texas Golf Association, Since 1906

Local Knowledge



Local Knowledge

Welcome to Local Knowledge, a new publication from the Texas Golf Association geared specifically for operational management personnel at our Member Clubs. For over 100 years, the TGA has worked closely with its Member Clubs to help make the Lone Star State one of the most popular places in the world to play golf. We are proud of the fact that we’ve grown from an initial five Member Clubs in 1906 to more than 500 today. Our roster now boasts more than 122,000 passionate golfers who cover every geographic region in the state.

Our robust list of Member Clubs is comprised of people who are committed to improving not only their club’s day-to-day operations, but also their members’ overall experience. The goal of Forethoughts is to share ideas, studies, and best practices from the global golf community. The TGA believes this interchange of knowledge is important to everyone and can help our Member Clubs gain new insights into how best to handle the common challenges of business today.

The TGA is, as always, dedicated to becoming ever-increasingly relevant to our membership. We hope Local Knowledge will become a valuable resource for you. For more information or to suggest a story idea, please CLICK HERE.
 

Current Issue

Browse Past Issues

Subscribe to TGA Local Knowledge


Local Knowledge/March 2018

 

USGA TM INTRODUCES QUICK EVENT SETUP 
   Great news for all those who are in charge of running club tournaments. Organizing a simple one-round or one-day competition just got a lot less complicated thanks to Quick Event Setup, the latest program update to USGA TM.
   Quick Event Setup now makes setting up these regular events quick and easy, with a minimum of clicks. Everything you need to set up a simple event are now on one page with a user-friendly design and intuitive flow. Select the basic event setup settings, simple competition, scorecard, and enter the players participating in the event. Instantly populate the tee sheet and move players using the “drag and drop” method. Within minutes, you can have your event setup complete and scorecards printed.
   To help better understand the new features of Quick Event Setup, Shona DeMint, Manager of GHIN Technical Services for the TGA, has put together a step-by-step tutorial video on how it works. WATCH VIDEO
 
APPLY FOR TGA FOUNDATION GRANTS, SCHOLARSHIPS 
   The TGA Foundation was established in 1999 to help ensure that golf in the Lone Star State would continue to grow and prosper. Since its formation, the TGA Foundation has introduced the game of golf to thousands of young people from every walk of life through junior golf development programs and competitions, college scholarships and grants to like-minded organizations whose programs and initiatives help inspire the next generation of Texas golfers.
   There are a lot of wonderful people and organizations across the state doing their very best to help grow the game. Our Member Clubs have their fingers on the pulse of their local golf community and might know of worthy candidates who could benefit from TGA Foundation support, such as the Bill Penn Grant, John Semander Family Scholarship or TGA Works Summer Internship. READ MORE
 
HELP THE USGA TO BETTER SERVE YOUR FACILITY
   The TGA is working with the USGA to learn more about the implementation and use of forward tees at your course. Your candid feedback is crucial in helping us to develop tools, solutions and education that will help you provide a better experience for your golfers.
   The survey is totally confidential and should take no more than 10 minutes to complete. Your responses will not be associated with you or your facility, and the results are for research purposes only. Thank you for your help in advancing the game that we all love. BEGIN SURVEY
 
GOLF'S MODERNIZED RULES RELEASED
   Six years in the making and 12 months after a first draft was circulated to the golf world for comment, officials with the USGA and R&A have settled on a new, modernized version of the Rules of Golf that will go into effect Jan. 1, 2019.  
   The USGA and The R&A finalized golf’s new Rules this month after an extensive review that included a request for feedback from the global golf community on the proposed changes. The process to modernize the Rules began in 2012 and was initiated to ensure that the Rules are easier to understand and apply for all golfers and to make the game more attractive and accessible for newcomers. 
   While the majority of proposed Rules remain intact in the final version, several important changes to the initial proposals and further clarification of many Rules were incorporated. The most significant adjustments made following review of the feedback received from golfers around the world include: Dropping procedure, Measuring in taking relief, Removing the penalty for a double hit and Balls Lost or Out of Bounds. READ MORE 
 
HELPFUL TIPS FOR LONG RANGE FACILITY PLANNING 
   Planning for the future isn’t easy. It takes a significant amount of time, commitment and input from all of the key constituents at a golf facility. Long range planning is essential, though, for the ongoing viability of the facility. Here are some tips from the staff at Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles, who have had a master plan for their facility in place for nearly 20 years. Discovering what worked well will help as you envision a plan for the future of your facility. READ MORE
 
   
 


 

Past Issues

2018
Local Knowledge January 2018

Local Knowledge/January 2018

 

BOOST CLUB SPIRIT WITH TEXAS LEAGUE PLAY
   Since its inception in 2006, Texas League Play has greatly expanded the appeal of interclub matches all across the state. The team match play competition that utilizes the USGA Handicap System to level the playing field for competitors of all skill levels presents TGA Member Clubs with a unique opportunity to engage with their members. The thrill golfers get out of playing for their home club in Texas League Play is an amazing way to provide high-energy fun, build camaraderie, boost club spirit and strengthen member relationships. READ MORE
 
GHIN ROSTER CLEAN-UP DATE IS FAST APPROACHING!
   Don’t forget that the GHIN/TGA Member Deletion Date Deadline is only one month away. All golfers who no longer wish to participate in the GHIN service must be “inactivated” on your club roster on or before Feb. 28, 2018 at 11 p.m. CT. Your club will be invoiced in March based upon the number of active GHIN golfers in your GHIN roster after that date and time.
   For those clubs participating in our Online Join Renew (OJR) program--golfers added via OJR have already paid and should be left in your club roster as “active.” The rebated amount will show on your club’s March invoice.
   Lastly, please take this opportunity to make certain all Junior golfers are coded correctly as “J” type with their Date of Birth. Juniors not coded as such by February 28 will be charged the regular rate. If you have any questions or need assistance accessing your player rosters, please don’t hesitate to contact Mary Harrison at mary@txga.org or 1-866-468-8942 ext. 152
 
TALK TO GOLF GENIUS AT PGA MERCHANDISE SHOW
   One of the exhibitors at the upcoming PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando will be Golf Genius, the software company behind the new USGA TM. There has been a great deal of interest in learning the differences in the two platforms that are available to clubs (USGA TM Club and USGA TM Club Premium). Both of the company's Texas contacts, John Warkentien and Scott Johnson, will be in attendance should you or your staff want to meet with them.
 
UNDERSTANDING PACE OF PLAY, EPISODE 1: WHY TRAFFIC JAMS OCCUR (USGA)
   A major part of the USGA's mission is to make the game healthy and viable for generations to come, in part by improving pace of play. To that end, the USGA has been accumulating hard data to uncover the root of slow play on golf courses, and is sharing their findings with golfers, facilities and leaders across the industry. In episode 1 of an in-depth educational video series, the USGA examines how golfers and facilities alike can help improve golf's pace of play. READ MORE
 
SIX MUST-HAVE AMENITIES (GOLF INC. MAGAZINE)
   While quality golf courses are still vital, club members are demanding more facilities and a wider range of services. In an article for Golf Inc. Magazine, author Rebecca Larsen looks at six must-have 21st-century amenities clubs need in order to meet the changing expectations members have when it comes to facilities at golf clubs. READ MORE
   
Local Knowledge February 2018

Local Knowledge/February 2018

 

KEY FEATURES OF NEW WORLD HANDICAP SYSTEM 
   
The way golfers around the world will calculate their handicaps is set to be transformed by a new system developed by the USGA and The R&A, with key features designed to provide all golfers with a consistent measure of playing ability. When implemented in 2020, the World Handicap System will be governed by the USGA and The R&A and administered by national and regional associations around the world, with safeguards included to ensure consistency as well as adaptability to differing golf cultures. READ MORE
 
TGA ENTERS INTO NEW RELATIONSHIP WITH USGA
   Fifty-nine regional golf associations, including the Texas Golf Association, have entered into a new relationship with the United States Golf Association to enhance the golfer experience at the state and local levels in the United States. 
   These Allied Golf Associations (AGAs), supported by the USGA’s five existing regional affairs offices, will administer the USGA Handicap and Course Rating Systems within defined geographic areas across the country. In addition, they will serve as the community’s primary resource for USGA services such as championship qualifiers, governance, golf facility support and programs that help grow and improve the long-term health of the game. READ MORE
 
UNDERSTANDING PACE OF PLAY, EPISODE 2: COURSE SETUP (USGA)
When setting up the golf course for normal play, one of the most important things to do is to think about your regular “customers”, i.e. the golfers. What is their level of ability? The average handicap for golfers in the US is around 15 for men and 26 for women. With the goal of getting players to move faster — and smoother — around the golf course, it’s important to bear in mind that a difficult set up with regards to fairway width, rough height, hole locations and green speed don't only impact golfers' scores, they are also a common cause of slow play and can spoil the overall enjoyment of the game. READ MORE
 
JUNIOR GOLF PROGRAMS CAN HELP MAXIMIZE REVENUE (JUNIOR GOLF)
A solid junior golf development program is key in attracting new members and retaining existing members who have children. In summary, even if parents are not using the club enough to justify the dues, they will continue to be a member if their child is involved in a junior program. In addition, quality junior programs can lead social members to upgrading into a golf membership, so their child can play on a regular basis. Moreover, many potential members who have children require a junior program before they join. READ MORE
   
Local Knowledge March 2018

Local Knowledge/March 2018

 

USGA TM INTRODUCES QUICK EVENT SETUP 
   Great news for all those who are in charge of running club tournaments. Organizing a simple one-round or one-day competition just got a lot less complicated thanks to Quick Event Setup, the latest program update to USGA TM.
   Quick Event Setup now makes setting up these regular events quick and easy, with a minimum of clicks. Everything you need to set up a simple event are now on one page with a user-friendly design and intuitive flow. Select the basic event setup settings, simple competition, scorecard, and enter the players participating in the event. Instantly populate the tee sheet and move players using the “drag and drop” method. Within minutes, you can have your event setup complete and scorecards printed.
   To help better understand the new features of Quick Event Setup, Shona DeMint, Manager of GHIN Technical Services for the TGA, has put together a step-by-step tutorial video on how it works. WATCH VIDEO
 
APPLY FOR TGA FOUNDATION GRANTS, SCHOLARSHIPS 
   The TGA Foundation was established in 1999 to help ensure that golf in the Lone Star State would continue to grow and prosper. Since its formation, the TGA Foundation has introduced the game of golf to thousands of young people from every walk of life through junior golf development programs and competitions, college scholarships and grants to like-minded organizations whose programs and initiatives help inspire the next generation of Texas golfers.
   There are a lot of wonderful people and organizations across the state doing their very best to help grow the game. Our Member Clubs have their fingers on the pulse of their local golf community and might know of worthy candidates who could benefit from TGA Foundation support, such as the Bill Penn Grant, John Semander Family Scholarship or TGA Works Summer Internship. READ MORE
 
HELP THE USGA TO BETTER SERVE YOUR FACILITY
   The TGA is working with the USGA to learn more about the implementation and use of forward tees at your course. Your candid feedback is crucial in helping us to develop tools, solutions and education that will help you provide a better experience for your golfers.
   The survey is totally confidential and should take no more than 10 minutes to complete. Your responses will not be associated with you or your facility, and the results are for research purposes only. Thank you for your help in advancing the game that we all love. BEGIN SURVEY
 
GOLF'S MODERNIZED RULES RELEASED
   Six years in the making and 12 months after a first draft was circulated to the golf world for comment, officials with the USGA and R&A have settled on a new, modernized version of the Rules of Golf that will go into effect Jan. 1, 2019.  
   The USGA and The R&A finalized golf’s new Rules this month after an extensive review that included a request for feedback from the global golf community on the proposed changes. The process to modernize the Rules began in 2012 and was initiated to ensure that the Rules are easier to understand and apply for all golfers and to make the game more attractive and accessible for newcomers. 
   While the majority of proposed Rules remain intact in the final version, several important changes to the initial proposals and further clarification of many Rules were incorporated. The most significant adjustments made following review of the feedback received from golfers around the world include: Dropping procedure, Measuring in taking relief, Removing the penalty for a double hit and Balls Lost or Out of Bounds. READ MORE 
 
HELPFUL TIPS FOR LONG RANGE FACILITY PLANNING 
   Planning for the future isn’t easy. It takes a significant amount of time, commitment and input from all of the key constituents at a golf facility. Long range planning is essential, though, for the ongoing viability of the facility. Here are some tips from the staff at Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles, who have had a master plan for their facility in place for nearly 20 years. Discovering what worked well will help as you envision a plan for the future of your facility. READ MORE
 
   
Local Knowledge April 2018

Local Knowledge/April 2018

 

UNDERSTANDING COURSE RATING
   The Course Rating system is the backbone of the USGA Handicap System, yet many people are still confused by the numbers and how they are calculated. To summarize, the USGA Course Rating indicates the playing difficulty of a course for “scratch golfers” under normal course and weather conditions.
   For instance, a Course Rating of 72.0 would portend that a scratch golfer would shoot 72 on that course. To help differentiate between a Course and Slope Rating, look at it this way: Course Rating views the course from a scratch golfer’s perspective; Slope Rating is from a bogey golfer’s viewpoint.
   Golf course operators need to have a good understanding of Course Rating so they can answer members’ questions about how it’s used in calculating a handicap indexes, as well as making adjustments in a player’s handicap for a particular course. They also need to be aware of the different variables that influence a course’s rating and why courses need to be re-rated over time. READ MORE
 
INCREASING WOMEN’S PARTICIPATION
   Texas is fortunate to have so many avid women golfers who are passionate about the game and eager to tee it up every chance they get. They are very involved at the local level, signing up for club events, taking an active role in their women’s golf association and playing in numerous charity outings.
   Unfortunately, though, not nearly enough take the opportunity to participate in TGA Women’s statewide championships, where every year hundreds of women golfers of all skill levels compete against one another on the state’s best golf courses.
   Perhaps they think they’re not good enough or that the experience would be too intense. Maybe they feel intimidated or worry about feeling unwelcome because they’re new to the tournament scene. Well, nothing could be further from the truth. Here at the TGA, we take great pride in organizing these championships for all our members and creating an atmosphere of inclusivity.
   Studies show that increasing social connections among women golfers increases their participation and engagement at all levels. Studies also show that women spend more on lessons and bring significantly more juniors into the game – two characteristics that are critical and beneficial to golf at the local club level.  We’re hoping our Member Clubs will encourage their women golfers to sign up for a TGA Women’s event this year so they can see for themselves how much fun it can be, expand their social networks and generally play more golf! Contrary to what they might think, there really is something for everyone on the annual schedule, no matter what their age or handicap index. READ MORE
 
11TH ANNUAL NATIONAL GOLF DAY IS APRIL 25 [FROM WE ARE GOLF]
The 11th annual National Golf Day will be held Wednesday, April 25, and will celebrate the game’s nearly $70 billion economy, $4 billion annual charitable impact, and many environmental and fitness benefits. Industry leaders will meet with members of Congress, the executive branch and federal agencies to discuss golf’s 15,000-plus diverse businesses, 2 million jobs impacted, tax revenue creation and tourism value. READ MORE
 
STATE OF THE CLUB INDUSTRY [FROM CMAA]
The editors of Club Management, the digital magazine of the CMAA, convened a panel of industry leaders to offer insights into the status of clubs today, the challenges they face and the innovative ways club management professionals are addressing them. Overall, there is considerable optimism amongst the panel members and a consensus that clubs are thriving and should continue to do so, given the overall trends of a strong economy and consumer confidence. They noted, however, that challenges remain such as keeping multi-generational memberships happy and retaining a quality staff as competition for workers grows stiffer. READ MORE 
 
THE SCORING TEES [FROM GOLFWEEK DIGITAL]
Some golf clubs in the U.S. take great pride in how challenging their courses are for players of all skill levels. Big, brawny tests like Oakmont Country Club comes to mind, as does Augusta National, Winged Foot and Whistling Straits, to name just a few. These punishing courses certainly have their place in the game, but they are anything but fun for the everyday golfer. Golf course architect Jan Bel Jan thinks that the addition of Scoring Tees will allow everyone – women, men, juniors, seniors, novices – to make more birdies and have more fun. READ MORE
 
   
Local Knowledge May 2018

Local Knowledge/May 2018

 

REPORT CENTER LATEST SOFTWARE UPDATE TO USGA TM
   High-quality printed materials are an integral part of tournament operations. Scorecards, cart signs, and tee sheets are just the beginning of a long list of printed material needed to run a successful tournament. The latest program update to USGA TM, Report Center, has now made producing the variety of printed materials needed for tournament operations a lot easier.
   Prior to this release, USGA TM provided a set of standard reports along with the Report Composer, Scorecard Composer, Page Composer, Scoreboard Composer, and Spreadsheet Composer. The new Report Center will now allow users to consolidate these tools while improving navigation, organization, and sharing of printed materials.
   Among the new features that make the Report Center much easier to use are accessing all printed materials in one place, organizing printed materials into categories and easily previewing, editing and running reports.
   To help better understand navigating and using Report Center, Shona DeMint, Manager of GHIN Technical Services for the TGA, has put together a step-by-step tutorial video on how it works. WATCH VIDEO
 
HOSTING GOLF 101 PROGRAMS ENCOURAGES, EMPOWERS WOMEN
   The TGA launched the Golf 101 initiative in 2017 as a way to introduce women of all ages to the game. The program also is geared toward women who are getting back into the game after a break. It’s not just for beginners.
   Golf 101 is designed to help women get more involved in the game through friendly, welcoming get-togethers. The goal is to give women with little or no experience in golf the confidence to get out on the course on their own, through a series of group lessons with an experienced PGA/LPGA instructor, as well as building relationships with more experienced golfers.
   Golf courses can be intimidating places for newcomers and returnees to the game. Golf 101 relieves any anxiety women may feel by providing a fun and highly inclusive environment where everyone is welcome. By hosting a Golf 101 program, TGA Member Clubs can attract new players to their facility or encourage existing female members to take up the game. READ MORE
 
USGA INCREASES COMMITMENT TO PLAY9 PROGRAM (FROM USGA)
As part of its ongoing efforts to grow the game within local golf communities, the United States Golf Association (USGA) recently announced plans to celebrate the fifth year of its successful PLAY9 program. Since its debut in 2014, PLAY9 has focused on encouraging more people to play more golf, more often. The program aims to showcase the nine-hole round as an ideal solution for both avid golfers and newcomers alike to get out and play in a time-friendly and engaging way. READ MORE
 
NEW STUDY SHOWS GOLF’S ECONOMIC IMPACT IS $84.1 BILLION (FROM WE ARE GOLF)
In the recently released U.S. Golf Economy Report, conducted by TEConomy Partners, it shows $84.1 billion in activity was directly driven by golf in 2016, a 22% rise from $68.8 billion in the 2011 report. The industry supported $191.9 billion in total annual activity, including 1.89 million jobs and $58.7 billion in wages and benefits. Demonstrating golfers’ and businesses’ commitments to charity, $3.94 billion was raised in 2016 through tournaments and other golf activities. READ MORE 
 
   
Local Knowledge June 2018

Local Knowledge/June 2018

 

INTRODUCING ONLINE JOIN RENEW
   We are pleased to offer our Member Clubs an innovative way to streamline their workload and at the same time add to their membership roster and revenue stream. The TGA’s new Online Join Renew feature makes it quick and easy for golfers to now sign up and pay for their GHIN/TGA memberships entirely online.
   With the Online Join Renew feature (OJR), the TGA provides clubs with new technology that automates the enrollment process for all golfers. This new application will make it much easier for golf shop staff to maintain the club’s GHIN roster, access golfer information, collect data for marketing and much more. READ MORE
 
ESTABLISH A “TIME PAR” AT YOUR COURSE
   “Time par” is the term given to the length of time allocated to complete each hole, a certain number of holes or the full round. Establishing a pace of play expectation, and communicating that expectation to players, is a common method of trying to improve pace of play. The time par provides a standard by which each group will be judged, and gives an objective guide on whether a group is playing at an appropriate pace. READ MORE
 
HOW TO MEASURE MEMBER SATISFACTION [FROM CMAA]
   Clubs across the country spend many hours and a lot of money trying to keep members happy, but it’s often difficult to determine whether their efforts are succeeding. Some clubs ask for weekly or monthly feedback to gauge member satisfaction. Others rely on once-a-year surveys. But there’s always a question as to whether such assessment methods really point a club and its leaders in the right direction. READ MORE
 
BEST PRACTICES IN AMENITIES [FROM CMAA]
   It takes more than a nice golf course and an attractive clubhouse for a club to succeed in today’s competitive market. The ability to maximize your assets is one of the keys to a successful club operation. To identify how clubs can achieve best achieve that goal, the editors of Club Management, the digital magazine of the CMAA, asked consultants in the club industry for their best practices when it comes to amenities. READ MORE
 
   

2017
TGA Forethoughts March 2017

TGA ForeThoughts/March 2017

 

THE VALUE OF SHARED KNOWLEDGE
   Welcome to ForeThoughts, a new publication from the Texas Golf Association geared specifically for operational management personnel at our Member Clubs. For over 100 years, the TGA has worked closely with its Member Clubs to help make the Lone Star State one of the most popular places in the world to play golf. We are proud of the fact that we’ve grown from an initial five Member Clubs in 1906 to more than 500 today. Our roster now boasts more than 122,000 passionate golfers who cover every geographic region in the state.
   Our robust list of Member Clubs is comprised of people who are committed to improving not only their club’s day-to-day operations, but also their members’ overall experience. The goal of ForeThoughts is to share ideas, studies, and best practices from the global golf community. The TGA believes this interchange of knowledge is important to everyone and can help our Member Clubs gain new insights into how best to handle the common challenges of business today.
   The TGA is, as always, dedicated to becoming ever-increasingly relevant to our membership. We hope ForeThoughts will become a valuable resource for you. For more information or to suggest a story idea, please CLICK HERE.
 
COMBO TEES - THE EASY WAY TO UPDATE YOUR COURSE
For golf course owners and operators looking for an inexpensive way to refresh the playing experience for their members, the addition of combination tees might just be the no-hassle solution. The idea of “Combo Tees” — using two or more sets of tees to add variety to a course’s setup — is probably the easiest way to update a course. And, best of all, it’s not something that requires investing in new tee boxes or other construction projects, either. READ MORE
 
UPGRADES NOW AVAILABLE FOR USGA TOURNAMENT MANAGEMENT PRODUCT
The TGA recently announced Member Clubs that upgrade to the USGA Tournament Management Club Premium version by March 31 will receive priority access for enrollment and training. The recently released software is a major upgrade to the Tournament Pairing Programs (TPP Client and TPP Online), which will be gradually phased out. The Club Premium product includes capabilities to enhance the golfer experience with a mobile app, live scoring, live TV leaderboards, online registration and payments and a customizable website for each event, league or outing. READ MORE
   
KEY FINDINGS POINT TO PACE OF PLAY SOLUTIONS (FROM USGA)
Pace of play is a focal point of the USGA’s continuing efforts to improve the health of the game, but it’s not an issue that can be remedied easily or by one organization alone. To that end, the USGA in January hosted 125 industry experts for the Association’s third Pace and Innovation Symposium. The two-day conference featured representatives from the USGA, The R&A, the American Society of Golf Course Architects, the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, and The First Tee, among others. READ MORE
 
GOLF 20/20 ANNOUNCES GAME’S 2016 CHARITABLE IMPACT (FROM GOLF 20/20)
GOLF 20/20 – a collaboration of leading organizations representing all segments of the U.S. golf industry – recently announced details about the game’s $3.9 billion annual charitable impact with more golf facilities than ever (12,700) hosting an event in 2016. “Charity is at the heart of the U.S. golf industry," says Steve Mona, CEO of the World Golf Foundation, administrator of GOLF 20/20. “Golf is a key driver for charitable giving and takes pride in hosting charitable events to improve millions of lives through causes that are mostly unrelated to golf.” READ MORE
 
   
Local Knowledge April 2017

Local Knowledge/April 2017

 
After we launched last month’s inaugural edition of this publication, we were alerted that our friends at the Northern Texas PGA have a newsletter with the same name. We apologize for the oversight and have since renamed ours “Local Knowledge.” That’s our goal here: To provide TGA Member Club operational management with information and knowledge that helps them better serve their members and guests. 

ADJUSTING HANDICAPS WHEN TWO PLAYERS COMPETE FROM DIFFERENT TEES
   It is highly likely – almost certain, in fact – that one of the most frequently asked questions golf professionals get about handicaps pertains to Section 3-5, which deals with allocation of strokes when players are competing from different sets of tees.  Section 3-5 can be difficult for clubs to understand and even more challenging to explain to members.
   It’s worth noting that a Handicap Index is NOT established from a particular set of tees, it is simply a standardized benchmark of a golfer’s potential that helps establish a player’s Course Handicap for the particular course he or she plays.  If two golfers are playing a match against each other and are playing from a different set of tees, they are not playing the same golf course. READ MORE
 
THE POWER OF PARTNERSHIP
The Texas Golf Association is one of the largest and most respected state golf associations in the U.S., with over 500 Member Clubs representing more than 130,000 individuals. As a TGA Member Club, you have access to a plethora of information, expert insights and educational opportunities to help manage day-to-day operations. Now, thanks to the brand new TGA Member Rewards Program, clubs can increase the number of benefits they offer their members without incurring any overhead costs whatsoever. READ MORE
 
NEW TECHNOLOGY IS A GAME-CHANGER FOR GOLF FACILITIES (FROM USGA)
As part of an ongoing effort to advance the game, the USGA has introduced Resource Management, a new web-based product that will help golf course superintendents, owners and operators be more precise, efficient and productive in maintaining their facilities. Among much else, the USGA Resource Management tool allows facility managers to understand better their consumption of resources – think labor, water and fuel – and to measure accurately, even down to the square foot, the allocation of these resources to each feature of the golf course. READ MORE
   
SIX WAYS CLUBS CAN ENHANCE SERVICE WITH MOBILE TECHNOLOGY (FROM CMAA)
In the highly competitive golf industry, an essential – but too often overlooked – key to operational success is to over-deliver in service to a member or customer. A well-trained, attentive and welcoming staff is critical to success, but these days so too is mobile technology, which is playing an increasingly important role in delivering value. The Club Managers Association of America (CMAA) has identified six mobile solutions that enable clubs to bring service right to each member, increasing revenue, profitability and customer satisfaction. READ MORE
 
   
Local Knowledge May 2017

Local Knowledge/May 2017

 

HOLE HANDICAPPING HEADACHES?
   Sometimes the No.1 handicap hole on the course is also the toughest…and sometimes it isn’t. This can be perplexing for members and perhaps for club staff as well. The root of the confusion generally stems from a stubborn, lingering misconception about how and why holes are assigned a handicap number (stroke allocation).
   Despite the feelings of most golfers, the stroke hole allocation of a course is not supposed to represent a ranking of the difficulty of the holes. Instead, it represents the ranking of the holes where a high-handicapped golfer most needs a stroke in order to tie a low-handicapped golfer. READ MORE
 
SIX REASONS TO HOST A TGA EVENT AT YOUR CLUB
What do 46 of the Top 50 courses in Texas, as ranked in 2016 by The Dallas Morning News, have in common? In addition to being the most lauded clubs in the state, they all have at one time hosted a TGA event. In fact, nine of the Top 10 courses have welcomed a TGA Championship in the last decade, highlighted by some of the most iconic names in the state. Dallas National Golf Club, Whispering Pines Golf Club, Brook Hollow Golf Club, Escondido Golf and Lake Club, Cordillera Ranch Golf Club and Shady Oaks Country Club, to name just a few, are Top 10 ranked courses that have hosted at least one TGA Championship since 2007. READ MORE
 
TEXAS CELEBRATES WOMEN'S GOLF DAY
On June 6, more than 50 golf Texas facilities will join in the global celebration of the many ways that women can engage with golf. Industry data shows that women are a critical demographic and represent a vibrant, growing segment of the golf population. Women make up 24% of all golfers, but represent 1/3 of beginning and junior golfers. With the number of people who say they are “very interested” in taking up golf at an all-time high, women will be a key force in the growth of the industry in the coming years. READ MORE
   
PLAY 9 TOOL KIT NOW AVAIABLE (FROM USGA)
With a broader focus on golf at the local level, the USGA rolled out plans recently in support of the PLAY9™ program. In 2017, the USGA will be working closely with state and regional golf associations and courses throughout the United States that will host and promote local PLAY9 Days between May and October. The USGA has also created online and printed toolkits for golf courses and facilities that are interested in hosting events. The toolkits offer posters, flyers and social media suggestions to raise awareness. Ideas for innovative themes and playing formats are also included. READ MORE
 
MOST GOLFERS CONSIDER MORE THAN PRICE WHEN CHOOSING WHERE TO PLAY (FROM NGF) 
The golf course business, like any other retail industry, is driven by supply and demand, and since more than 4,000 golf courses were opened between 1986 and 2005, most operators are competing for players and rounds like never before. Viewed from a consumer perspective, you could say that golfers have been gifted with a rich selection of courses to choose from in almost every market across the country. As a result, understanding how golfers decide where to play has never been more important for golf course operators seeking to grow market share. READ MORE
 
   
Local Knowledge June 2017

Local Knowledge/June 2017

 
SWITCH NOW TO NEW USGA TOURNAMENT MANAGEMENT
   If you’ve been delaying making the switch from the Tournament Pairing Programs (TPP Client and TPP Online) to the new USGA Tournament Management Product (USGA TM), now is the time to act. Remember, the current version of TPP is going to be gradually phased out by the end of 2017. If you haven’t yet made the changeover, you’re missing out on using the superior golf event management technology provided by USGA TM, and the opportunity to simplify the process of administering member events.
 
   Powered by Golf Genius, USGA TM is completely web-based. The online system provides all the necessary tools for golf shops at private clubs or public facilities to set up and run member tournaments, leagues and outings. The new product significantly reduces the workload of golf shops. It also comes with easy-to-follow printed collateral, including fully customizable scorecards, cart signs, bag tags, locker labels, tee sheets, alpha lists and much more. READ MORE
 
THE TGA IS LOOKING FOR YOUR FEEDBACK
The Texas Golf Association is committed to continuing to provide our clubs with the core products that you have come to expect and we are always looking for new ways to make sure you get the most out of your affiliation with us. We are currently considering the development of a purchasing program for TGA Member Clubs. As we consider this new program, we welcome your input and feedback so that we can make the program useful and relevant to as many clubs as possible. Be on the lookout NEXT WEEK for a survey on this topic. Please take a moment to complete the survey. We are exploring this idea as a benefit for you, so let us know what you think!
 
TGA MEMBERS SCORE EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNTS WITH AFFINTY TRAVEL
The TGA announced recently it has partnered with Affinity Travel Benefits, a leading edge, online travel aggregation platform that provides exclusive discounts up to 70 percent off retail rates at hotels and resort properties. The affiliation with Affinity Travel is part of the TGA Member Rewards Program, an ongoing effort to provide maximum value to TGA Members. Affinity Travel obtains heavily discounted rates not available to the public on travel sites like Expedia, Travelocity, Priceline, Trivago and Orbitz. That guarantees TGA members’ hotel bookings are the lowest rates on the internet. READ MORE
 
GOLF FACILITIES: FOCUSING ON WHAT MATTERS MOST (FROM USGA)
Every morning, golf course superintendents and their maintenance teams work hard to prepare golf courses; without their efforts there wouldn’t be golf courses to enjoy. Unfortunately, labor costs are rising and it is becoming increasingly difficult for superintendents to hire and retain workers. These challenges are driving significant changes in golf course maintenance. "With workers in short supply and costs rising, golf facilities everywhere are rethinking their maintenance programs and focusing on the tasks that will have the most positive impact on the golf experience,” said Dave Oatis, director of the USGA Green Section’s Northeast Region. READ MORE
   
GOLF’S FUTURE BRIGHTER THAN MEDIA PORTRAYS (FROM INC. MAGAZINE)
A recent article from Inc. magazine highlights the positives of the golf industry, reminding readers of the many attributes the game continues to possess. Not too long ago Men’s Journal ran a story titled “The Death of Golf” and Business Insider reported that “Adidas and Nike are signaling the death of the golf as we know it.” As Kai Sato notes in Inc., “Despite these eye-catching titles, the sport of golf isn't "dying" and is greatly misunderstood. Like every other sport, golf has certain dynamics and faces its own unique challenges. But the game has tremendous international reach, an array of young stars, and continues to innovate toward growth." READ MORE
 
TGA PARTNERS WITH SANDRA HAYNIE GOLF EXPERIENCE
World Golf Hall of Fame member Sandra Haynie is proud to announce her partnership with the Texas Golf Association. Having years of experience in golf course and academy operations, Sandra Haynie Golf Experience (SHGE) is looking forward to helping TGA Member Clubs create programs designed to attract new and retain current golfers. Haynie believes instructional golf programs are vital to the long-term success of facilities and understands firsthand that many operations lack the time, staff, or energy to create and implement these programs. With an emphasis on relationship building and creating user-friendly environments, Haynie welcomes the opportunity to share her hall of fame experience and knowledge with her native Texas clubs. READ MORE
 
   
Local Knowledge August 2017

Local Knowledge/August 2017

 

INCREASE REVENUE, GROW YOUR CLUB’S BRAND BY HOSTING A FUN GOLF EVENT

   The Texas Golf Association launched its Fun Golf Initiative in 2015 in order to engage a broader spectrum of the TGA Membership with a series of one-day events that are less serious, more dynamic and more fun for players of all ages and handicap ranges. 
   Open to men and women golfers, these laid-back Fun Golf outings have been a big hit with TGA Members and their guests. Each year, more and more recreational golfers are signing up for Fun Golf Play Days. It’s easy to see why these events are so popular because one, they have a good time and two, they get to play great courses they may not otherwise get to experience such as TPC San Antonio, Bentwater Yacht & CC, Beaumont CC, Onion Creek Club, Walden on Lake Conroe and Mira Vista CC, to name just a few.
   Hosting Fun Golf Play Days can help our Member Clubs generate additional revenue through green fees, cart fees, range balls, food and beverage and merchandise sales. There are also numerous additional benefits beyond the immediate positive financial impact. READ MORE
 
HANDICAP ALLOWANCES FOR TEAM COMPETITIONS: THE WHAT AND THE WHY (FROM USGA)
A “handicap allowance” is the percentage of a Course Handicap recommended for use in a handicapped competition. The percentage used is determined by the Committee in charge of a competition, and may vary based on the format of play. Some may not be too familiar with the concept of handicap allowances because they play in individual events in which the full Course Handicap is recommended. Allowances are typically utilized in team events in which one player’s score may not count for the team on every hole, warranting the use of less than their full Course Handicap. READ MORE
 
TEN LESSONS: WHAT I LEARNED SERVING ON THE GREEN COMMITTEE
The volunteers who serve on the various club committees are charged with many important responsibilities. Chief among those duties are to develop and implement short- and long-term goals for the club’s continued success. Gathering as much information as possible helps committee members to make prudent decisions for projects both large and small. In an insightful and informative essay, John Rydell, who served eight years on his club’s green committee, shares some insight as to what he learned during his tenure, along with a list of things that all green committees should keep in mind. READ MORE
 
DRIVING INVESTMENT INTO COURSES: RENOVATING THE ENGINE OF THE GOLF ECONOMY (FROM NGF)
No country in the world has as many golf facilities – more than 15,000 -- as the U.S. But the industry currently has an oversupply of facilities in many markets, the byproduct of an entrepreneur-driven 20-year building boom from 1986 through 2005 that saw the total number of courses jump by a whopping 44 percent. Not surprisingly, new course development is now limited. Industry-wide, major renovations have replaced new construction as the primary focus of course investment. Money is still being pumped into golf facilities, but now it’s a matter of upgrading and improving existing courses. READ MORE
 
   
Local Knowledge September 2017

Local Knowledge/September 2017

 

UNDERSTANDING COURSE SLOPE RATING
     Perhaps no golf course terminology is more misunderstood than “Slope.” Most golfers believe that the higher the Slope number, the more difficult the golf course. The Slope is actually not a measure of a course's difficulty. That's the responsibility of the Rating figure. The Slope is a measure of how much difference a course's difficulty is for the average bogey golfer compared to the scratch golfer.
     Most golfers know that there is a Course Rating for each set of tees based on a scratch golfer’s game. A “scratch golfer” is defined as a player who can play to a Course Handicap of zero on any and all rated golf courses. What most don’t know, however, is that there is also a Bogey Rating established for each set of tees based on the golfer who has a Course Handicap of approximately 20 on a course of standard difficulty. The difference between these two ratings is the major determining factor in the Slope Rating. READ MORE
 
HOW THE TGA’S PARTNERSHIP WITH TARO BENEFITS YOUR CLUB
     A lot of our Member Clubs might not be familiar with the Texas Alliance of Recreational Organizations (TARO) or the important legislative work the association does on behalf of clubs across the state. Because the Texas Golf Association is a key supporter of TARO, that means our Member Clubs are automatically being represented to ensure they have a strong voice in the state’s political arena. It’s another example of how the TGA is working on and off the golf course to bring value to our membership.
     Conceived and organized in 1993, TARO is a non-profit coalition of clubs, other organizations and individuals interested in recreational activities within the state. In addition to the TGA, TARO enjoys the support of many allied organizations with thousands of members including the Northern and Southern Texas Sections of the PGA, the Texas Chapters of the Club Managers, Golf Course Superintendents and United States Tennis Associations and the Texas Turfgrass Association. READ MORE
 
THE RIGHT TREE IN THE RIGHT LOCATION (FROM USGA)
From golf’s earliest days in the United States, golfers have had a love affair with trees. However, early golf course architects learned their trade on links courses in Europe and did not believe trees belonged on golf courses. Golfers’ love of trees won out and many golf courses implemented tree-planting programs. When appropriate tree species are planted in appropriate locations, they can serve many important and valuable functions on golf courses. Unfortunately, many golf course tree-planting programs are overzealously implemented without proper guidance and foresight. Due to the slow growth rate of trees, it can take years to fully appreciate the extent and severity of the numerous problems caused by excessive tree plantings. READ MORE
 
HOW GOLF LEAGUES CREATE 'APPOINTMENT GOLF' AND BOOST THE BOTTOM LINE (FROM NGF)
The Pirate League has transformed Monday nights at Goat Hill Park in Oceanside, Calif., where locals gather for a weekly nine-hole team scramble event that’s more about fun and socialization than who actually walks away with prizes at the end of the evening. In a society where the demands of work and family can put a crimp on free time, some golf courses – like Goat Hill – are turning to “appointment golf” in the way of leagues. For many facilities, it’s proven to be a successful way to fill the tee sheet in off hours while boosting engagement, a feeling of community and camaraderie, and the bottom line. READ MORE
 
   
Local Knowledge December 2017

Local Knowledge/December 2017

 

YOUR MEMBERS ARE OUR MEMBERS
   As the governing body and stewards of amateur golf in Texas, it is our duty and passion to ensure our members are taking full advantage of all the valuable benefits of their TGA Membership. Currently, we believe many of your club’s members are unaware of all the TGA has to offer and are missing out on a great many special rewards.
   Learn how we can work together to bring even more value to your club’s membership by getting special playing opportunities, travel offers, the latest TGA updates and so much more in your members’ hands. READ MORE
 
FINAL NOTICE: TPP SERVICE ENDS DECEMBER 31, 2017
   This is the final reminder to all TGA Member Clubs that support and ability to access information from the Tournament Pairing Programs (TPP Client and TPP Online) will end on December 31, 2017.
   If you haven’t made the switch from the TPP to the new USGA Tournament Management Product (USGA TM) and need to save the history of previously held events or other information, you must download the necessary reports by the end of the year.
   If you’re still using TPP Client (the version loaded on your computer) it will still function on January 1, 2018, however, be forewarned, that it will not connect with GHIN at all. You will not be able to post scores, update handicaps, download your club roster or use any other functions associated with GHIN. READ MORE
 
TGA HOLDIAY OFFICE HOURS
   A reminder to our Member Clubs that the Texas Golf Association’s Main Office in Dallas and South Office in Humble will be closed from Dec. 22, 2017 through Jan. 1, 2018 for the Holiday Season. Both offices will reopen at 9 a.m. on Jan. 2, 2018. TGA WEBSITE
 
FOCUS ON WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO PLAYERS (USGA)
   The United States Golf Association has produced a variety of informational webcasts and webinars designed to serve as an online learning resource for the golf course management community. A distinguished panel of industry experts from different fields address some of the biggest issues golf facilities are facing today, ranging from course care to facility operations.
   The first video in this new Local Knowledge feature is “Attracting Players To Your Course By Focusing On What is Important to Them.” Chris Hartwiger, Director of the USGA Course Consulting Service, asserts that a good pace of play policy and friendly service are key factors in attracting players. Hartwiger also outlines how a practical implementation of these strategies might look at your course. READ MORE
 
MEMBER ENGAGEMENT FOR THE LONG-TERM (CMAA)
   One of the principal requirements for the long-term success of a golf facility is the ability to build strong member relationships. Effective communication and providing exceptional customer service takes a lot of hard work, but it is a top priority for clubs that want to instill member loyalty and avoid high turnover rates.
   Having a member engaged from initiation through their golden years might seem like an overreaching goal, but it’s one that great club executives can aspire to. In an insightful CMAA article, Brad Pollak, CCM, CCE, outlines several tactics and strategies that various clubs employ to help set the intangible bond. READ MORE
   
Additional Resources
Handicapping Links
TGA Member Rewards
Stay Connected
RTJ Trail