Golf operations go west


Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley

According to a panel of international golf experts assembled by Club Car, international golf operations are becoming increasingly 'westernised' and changing from a social club situation to performancebased businesses. Key trends include: a management style driven by business goals vs. social objectives; performance measurements used to gauge operational success; a focus on differentiating experiences as a competitive advantage; and course development associated with real estate and tourism.

"We see a social club atmosphere still prevailing in many places, but more and more investors are hoping to make a return on their golf investment and that is creating a whole new ballgame here," said Lodewijk Klootwijk, CEO of the European Golf Course Owners Association. "You see more structure to the businesses and more performance measurements in place." Klootwijk was joined on the panel by Hud Hinton, president and chief operating officer for course management company Troon Golf; Henry DeLozier, a principal with Global Golf Advisors, an international consulting practice; Roberto Gorostiaga, sales and marketing director for Club Car's European group; and Kevin Gates, director of sales and marketing for Club Car's Asia/Pacific group.