NEW FEATURES ADDED IN GHIN MOBILE APP
In an update that was a year in the making, the USGA recently announced the integration of GPS distances and course-mapping features within the GHIN Mobile App.
The Standard GPS version, which is available to all users at no cost, includes 3D Color Course Map Imagery, touch-point GPS distances to anywhere on the course and distance to the center of the green for thousands of courses worldwide.
There is now a new flow to “Play with GPS” where users can enter/post their hole-by-hole score while using GPS features and viewing the Course Map. These features are also made available to golfers who have gone down the “Post Score” flow when posting a hole-by-hole score or hole-by-hole score with stats.
Standard GPS users can upgrade to GHIN Enhanced GPS for an annual subscription. The Enhanced GPS features include distances to the front, back and middle of every green, shot tracking, ability to set/move hole location, Approach Heat Map and Putt Break Map.
The GPS and green-reading features are both rules compliant. While green-reading books could soon be banned for professional golfers on the PGA TOUR, the USGA and R&A have made them permissible at other levels.
2022 IN-PERSON PGA SHOW EVENT UPDATE
The PGA of America and PGA Golf Exhibitions has provided an event update on the 2022 PGA Show, scheduled for Jan. 25-28 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. The 69th edition of the PGA Show is returning as an in-person event for the first time since January 2020 due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Health and safety standards, based on CDC guidelines, local public health guidance and host venue protocols, will be in place to support a safe and comfortable experience for all attendees.
While many golf companies face ongoing COVID challenges including supply chain issues, travel restrictions and other strains on operations, more than 450 exhibitors are committed to date with a total of 650-plus brands projected to participate in the 2022 PGA Show. There are also several new initiatives for 2022 designed to refresh and grow the PGA Show including event and programming enhancements that focus specifically on powering face-to-face business connections, spotlighting innovations and prioritizing product experiential education, sourcing and transactions.
“The 2022 PGA Show will play an especially important role in helping the industry and PGA Professionals move forward from the pandemic, capitalizing on the growing interest in the sport and uncovering new tools to improve the grassroots golf experience,” said PGA of America President Jim Richerson.
GOLF COURSE OPERATORS REGAIN SOME PRICING POWER [NGF]
With golfers turning, and returning, to the golf course in greater numbers over the past year-and-a-half, this increased demand has given some pricing power back to operators – at least in certain markets.
An analysis of fees in the National Golf Foundation golf course database revealed that more than one-third of public golf courses increased their peak-season weekend green fees this year, by an average of 11 percent.
In a separate survey of golf course operators, two out of three reported making one or more pricing adjustments in the past year, the biggest change being a rise in non-peak rates (an increase of 5-10 percent, on average). Other changes include increased peak season rates, a stretched or shifted peak season, and adjustments/limits on discounts such as senior, junior, weekday, twilight and resident rates.
Increased demand in rounds was the main contributing factor to green fee increases, while others cited increased costs related to labor/wages, supplies and maintenance. Some also noted that competitors raised their rates and they followed suit.
Many operators are playing catch-up, as their prices had not been raised materially, if at all, in years.
Golf, on the whole, continues to shine as an affordable option compared to other experiences that take about a similar amount of time: professional sports events, theme parks, skiing, etc. This affordability likely contributed to increased demand seen during the pandemic, as there are a wide variety of golf course choices at different price points, unlike many other activities/experiences.
TOP TRENDS IN F&B [CMAA]
F&B is a complicated enterprise and growing more so all the time.
Members want options, from healthful fare to exotic cocktails and tasty takeout. When it comes to food & beverage, members have a wide variety of likes and dislikes. Today’s club members are seeking a wide range of healthier options, expanded to-go options, exotic spirits and cocktails, menu labeling transparency and much more.
F&B is hard.
And it hasn’t gotten any easier with the pandemic and the changes it brought.
In a recent article for Club Management Association of America’s digital magazine, author Mike Stetz explores ever-changing trends and challenges in F&B.