In our 2013 survey, signals of optimism abound. We asked several questions about upcoming plans ranging from opening a new center to adding staff to shrinking facility hours. We were quite pleased that so many golf centers are reporting planned increases in advertising, staff, and hours. Additionally a high percentage of respondents indicated plans to open a second center or to upgrade their simulators.
An encouraging sign from the survey is the increase in the percentage of visits from repeat customers. As a golf center matures, it appears its clientele is increasingly made of up weekly golfers. How does your center stack up and what are you doing to increase repeat visits?
I visited my in-laws over this summer and accidentally discovered indoor golf while we were out for lunch. As we were parking near the restaurant, I noticed the shop next door was putting up a sign about golf. Having been a golf nut all my life, golf stuff always catches my eye. I haven't been playing as much of late, so maybe my lack of play drove a little extra interest in investigating.
As we were walking up to the restaurant, The sign came into full view and it indicated that this was an indoor golf shop. Right then and there, I decided to check it out after lunch. I remember my reaction when I entered the store. I thought to myself this could be the coolest thing I've ever seen. At the time, it was totally empty and the owner approached to see if he could help.
It turns out the store was opening in the next week or so. I asked all sorts of questions about how it worked, how much it cost to play, how he had the idea and on and on. Being from the south, I'd never seen anything like it. It had 6 simulators, couches, a bar, rental clubs and an awesome atmosphere.
Don't get me wrong, I've seen these at Golf Galaxy or Dicks Sporting Goods, but never set up like this. I started to wonder if there was one near me. I did find one, but it was a single simulator in a very spartan environment. I've played it a few times and it is a lot of fun, but I wish there was one more like my first in the area.
With my time to play becoming increasingly limited and courses around me getting much more expensive or closing, indoor golf seems to make so much sense. Its not exactly the same, but it is a lot of fun.