Innovative Ideas to Improve Your Golf Course's Bottom-Line.

Municipal Golf Renaissance (3 minute read) 

Reading the Green is a "quick hit" monthly newsletter sent by Staples Golf, a Scottsdale based Golf Course Architecture firm that works with Municipal stakeholders like you. Each month, we explore community focused topics all Municipal stakeholders should be keeping an eye on.

Community Golf Fan, 

Bethpage Black, a NY State operated golf course, is hosting the 101st PGA Championship, currently underway. The course gets its fair share of attention in-part because it’s government owned, and only a few of these venues appear on the PGA Tour these days. No doubt there is a sense of local pride felt by Long-Island golfers when the Black is referred to as one of the best courses in the country (#37 according to Golf Digest), and rightfully so; its architectural strengths are apparent to those who've played it.

The conventionalists tell us these kind of PGA Tour events surely have an impact on golfers’ interest in the game, but this got me thinking… How important are they to our industry, and at what cost? Do we really need them to “grow the game”?

I’m not so sure we do.

As pointed out in this article, something of a “munaissance” seems to be occurring around the country, correlating great architecture with people’s interest in playing more golf. This quote sums it up very well:

"We are in the midst of an American municipal golf renaissance. A Munaissance, if you will. And it might just be the game’s best chance at growth. Not the wishful-thinking, overnight kind, but something real, sustainable and, like the places where it figures to take place, modest."

Having conducted numerous polls with community members regarding their muni golf facilities all over the country, I always ask in some fashion, how their sense of pride would change should their course be improved. Without a doubt, almost everyone says their pride in both their community and their municipality would greatly increase. Below is a real example from just the other week, and post renovation data years later also proves this out.

The Tour, the USGA, and the PGA of America like to utilize muni courses as an effort to stir enthusiasm with golfers who regularly play municipal golf facilities, but as far as municipalities should be concerned, it comes back to who's actually using your facility; your community members. So then what can be done to get more play? Offer a better, more architecturally significant course, built and maintained sustainably. It can be done, but not without action on behalf of municipal owners.

Here's what you need to know:

  • A great course design will always results in more play and increased revenue.

  • Instilling local pride into municipal golf starts and ends with the people that play your course.

  • Municipal golf is being improved with great success when municipal owners act.

  • Most municipalities are neglecting significant opportunities to reinvigorate their course.

Please remember, we’re around to answer any questions you might have on this topic, or anything else regarding your community golf course! You can send us an email by clicking here, or feel free to give us a ring at the number below.

Until next time,

Andy Staples, ASGCA

About Us
Staples Golf is a nationally renowned golf course architecture firm, known for its signature development vision, Community Links. Community Links is a paradigm shifting approach with regards to how a golf course fits into the community. It includes re-branding, resource conservation, community involvement, new player development, among others.
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