Phoenix's struggling golf economy

Phoenix's struggling golf economy

Postby jrich99 » Sun Dec 29, 2013 3:34 pm

Here's an interesting article from Arizona State University's business school about the decline of the golf industry in the greater Phoenix area:

http://knowledge.wpcarey.asu.edu/articl ... 3&aid=1476
User avatar
jrich99
 
Posts: 627
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2011 7:34 pm

Re: Phoenix's struggling golf economy

Postby lagpressure » Mon Dec 30, 2013 11:59 pm

Fought said developers were more focused on fancy water features and amenities at their courses, rather than the golf. Building those pricey courses made a round of golf cost $200 and players aren’t willing to pay that today, he said.
“We really got enamored with golf and allowed it to get away from its roots,” he said.

On the courses Fought is designing across the country, the game is the focal point. “The glamour of golf is going away,” he said.


“The two worst inventions in golf are the golf path and golf cart,” O’Donoghue said. Walking the course is the way the game was meant to be played, he said.


“We shouldn’t have green grass,” O’Donoghue said. “It’s a fallacy. It’s an over-seeded rye and we do it to sell real estate. You should be playing on scrubbed up Bermuda but we’re so conditioned to perfect greens, perfect course conditions, perfectly raked bunkers — and when you’re looking at the business model, that costs an awful lot of money to deliver every day.”
He said some courses in Scottsdale pay $800,000 a year just for water usage.
“It is cost prohibitive to own and operate a golf course,” he said.
“They wouldn’t play on a fairway that wasn’t green.”
User avatar
lagpressure
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8184
Joined: Thu Jun 04, 2009 12:50 pm

Re: Phoenix's struggling golf economy

Postby lagpressure » Tue Dec 31, 2013 12:07 am

Part of the tradition and beauty of this game is to learn to play the full spectrum of reasonable conditions. It makes better players and diversifies the experience considerable. Golf is currently existing in an age of entitlement. I suppose things will change over time due more to necessity rather than choice.

There will always be golfers, just less of them. More quality players and the majority of great courses will buck the trend of a convenience minded generation.
User avatar
lagpressure
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8184
Joined: Thu Jun 04, 2009 12:50 pm

Re: Phoenix's struggling golf economy

Postby t.r. sloan » Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:13 am

lagpressure wrote:Part of the tradition and beauty of this game is to learn to play the full spectrum of reasonable conditions. It makes better players and diversifies the experience considerable. Golf is currently existing in an age of entitlement.


I agree. The course I play is what I call a "blue collar" course. It's not fancy, but it's generally in fair shape for the price you pay, and I really enjoy it. I've had some incredible golf experiences there. I invited a young golfer from church to join me for a game. His family are members at a very nice, well kept, and expensive course. He was complaining by the second hole, and continued for the rest of the round. The comment that has stuck with me the most is, "This course is going to ruin my game." It's sad, but it's probably too late for him to experience what is the true essence of golf.
t.r. sloan
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2012 7:15 am

Re: Phoenix's struggling golf economy

Postby lagpressure » Tue Dec 31, 2013 9:33 am

You actually have to be a better player to shoot a good score on a poorly groomed course. I used to love it when the tour would stop on a course in bad condition. I knew half the field was already eliminated. Bad greens are great too because it becomes much less of a putting contest. The great putters are not going to be able to run the table. Yes, they will still make more putts, but not nearly as many. Things get tipped in favor of the better ball strikers on poor greens.

There is also a technique to putting on slower bumpy greens... and a lot of good players don't really know how to do it.

I once played in a junior tournament with kikuya grass greens. It was absolutely crazy. Even a two foot putt was hit and pray.
I shot 7 over par and won the tournament over Dennis Paulson in a sudden death playoff.

Lately, I believe the tour is trying to homogenize the greens from week to week. When I was playing it was a given that to succeed you had to learn to putt fast bent, grainy bermuda, poa annua, and winter rye. Different feels, speeds and techniques.

Tennis I think still plays grass, clay and concrete?

At University they let the fairways go dormant during the winter months. They would over seed the tees and greens only.
No one complained about it. It was just a different feel playing off the straw during those months. Divots would scatter and break up, so we had to expect to dig a few out of holes here and there. If things got to bad then a course could declare winter rules where you could bump the ball 6 inches... but I never liked that. I prefer to hear the competition complaining!
User avatar
lagpressure
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8184
Joined: Thu Jun 04, 2009 12:50 pm

Re: Phoenix's struggling golf economy

Postby Richie3Jack » Tue Dec 31, 2013 11:07 am

In Orlando we are seeing some of the 'older' courses getting renovated. Metrowest did a $1.5 million renovation. They can afford it since they are owned by the Marriott and they do a lot of business. But the big thing to me is that they not only installed new greens, but hey went from 73 bunkers to 42 bunkers. And the bunkers they had left over were mostly made smaller in size. Rio Pinar used to hold the old Citrus Open PGA Tour event. They are doing $4.5 million of renovations. New greens, lots of sod, new cart paths and....trimming down the amount of bunkers.

The bunkering these days is ridiculous and impossible to maintain at an affordable price. If it rains enough, then you're going to need new sand by the end of the year. Not to mention sod replacement around the trap. Combine that with the labor and it's an exhaustive and expensive part of the course. I've been thinking lately that if you had the designer for it, a course could eliminate sand all together and replace it with 'grass bunkers' and it would not only save them money and time, but I think the golfers would enjoy it even more.





3JACK
Richie3Jack
 
Posts: 656
Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2009 10:20 am

Re: Phoenix's struggling golf economy

Postby norcalvol » Thu Feb 06, 2014 10:14 pm

I play The Sea Ranch Golf Links from time to time. We are in a drought here in California (finally getting rain this week) so the course has been a bit burnt --- there is not much watering that is done to the course. I've read reviews that are overwhelming negative because of the brown conditions. The first time I played it, I fell in love with it. Even though it's along the ocean, It is not really a links course, but there is enough of that flavor plus the interesting layout that makes it a joy. It is a shotmaker's course. I was expecting the worst but I was more than pleasantly surprised.

I was in the FW on a par 4 looking at 180 to the green. My ball was on a very thin, brown patch, and the guy I was playing with told me just to move the ball where there was 'sufficient' grass. Instead I took a little extra club, put it a bit back in my stance, and kind of dead-weighted it with a slow but steep attack. A nice low shot that hit 50 yards short of the green and rolled to pin high. Delicious. [By the way, I love the 'thud' of the turf there.]

The conditions, the comment, and the shot made my day.

Watching tournament golf in the US is getting boring. The courses are all starting to look alike (conditions), and players are getting pretty pouty about less than pristine conditions. I find myself watching the Europen Tour more and more because there seems to be more variety.

I agree wholeheartedly --- ragged conditions (or at least a variety) makes for better skill development and should be embraced for that reason.

This is golf, not billiards.
Accelerate forever!
User avatar
norcalvol
 
Posts: 490
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 1:01 pm
Location: Bay Area, California

Re: Phoenix's struggling golf economy

Postby apples2967 » Fri Feb 07, 2014 1:11 am

"

but I never liked that. I prefer to hear the competition complaining!"

Gold John, just gold
apples2967
 
Posts: 316
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2011 3:47 pm


Return to Technology and the Titanium Age

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest