Managing Golf Course Revenue Using Pace of Play Modeling

By Tiger, Andrew A.; Howard, Robert W. | Journal of Business and Entrepreneurship, October 2007 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Managing Golf Course Revenue Using Pace of Play Modeling

Tiger, Andrew A., Howard, Robert W., Journal of Business and Entrepreneurship


The game of golf, though still popular, has experienced a decline in demand. Since golf courses are small or mid-sized enterprises, managing and increasing revenue falls on a small management team with few support employees. The key is to increase the yield of players through a course by reducing the amount of wait time. We offer here a simulation model that is designed to increase the number of players through a course during the day. The outcome should be increased revenue for the course and increased satisfaction for the player.


In the amusement, gambling, and recreation industries, golf courses and country clubs are second only to gambling in the amount of revenue produced. In 2002, there were 12,189 golf courses in the U.S., producing a total of $17.4 billion (US Economic Census, 2002). We may not think of golf courses as small business entities, but they are. On average, each golf course produced $1.39 million in receipts and employed 26 people; thus, most golf courses fall under the definition of a small business. The United States Small Business Administration size standard for the amusement, gambling, and recreation industries is $6.5 million (U.S. Small Business Administration, 2006).

In 2001, 518.1 million rounds of golf were played. That number has since declined by 4.5%. Kauffman (2005) states that golf just does not seem as in vogue as other leisure activities. The decline in players has been researched by KPMG's golf industry practice. Managing director Tom Bruff claims:

From 1973 to today, the average worker is working 20 percent more... And this game needs time. The money issue? Forget it. You can still play this game pretty cheap. It's time. Anybody I talk to in any peer group has less time (Kauffman, 2005, p. 5).

In the same article, David Smith, president and CEO of Golf Projects International in Lagoura Hills, California, states:

The principal reason for such a decline... is that today's core male golfer is much different than the previous generation... They're no longer permitted to go to the club at 8 a.m. and stay until 6 p.m. Their kids now dictate their schedules as opposed to the old days when dad dictated everything. Look at the grillroom at places like Los Angeles Country Club or Belair. It used to be that Saturday at 12 was the busiest time of the week. Now it's dead because guys have to be in and out by noon so they can get home for the Little League baseball game or soccer game or to go shopping at Costco. Quite frankly, as the guys who have supported the game get older, I don't know if it gets better (Kauffman, 2005, p. 5).

A final reason for decline is that golf courses are designed to be more difficult. "Tiger-proofing" (increasing course difficulty) is occurring not only on the PGA tour, but also on courses designed for daily play. In a recent interview, Lee Trevino addressed the issue of course design on cycle time:

We have a tremendous amount of high-end daily-fee courses in Dallas that are in trouble. They aren't getting the play. The harder you build the course, the more money it costs to maintain it... If you put high handicappers on courses that take 5.5 hours to play, you're going to lose them. And time is money when it comes to golf. You can't get as many rounds in on a tough course (Lowell, 2004, p. 43).

Regardless of whether people are working longer hours or have other commitments, or courses are designed to be more difficult, the major factor in getting people on the golf course is the amount of time it requires to complete a round of golf. If cycle time can be reduced, two benefits may be incurred. The first is that golfers can continue to participate even if they have other commitments. The second is that the number of rounds played during a day (throughput) can be increased. The latter is beneficial when demand exceeds supply; however, the former is beneficial regardless of the supply/demand unbalance.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Managing Golf Course Revenue Using Pace of Play Modeling


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?