Science and Golf II: Proceedings of the 1994 World Scientific Congress of Golf

By A. J. Cochran; M. R. Farrally | Go to book overview

83

Development of golf courses: market research and appraisal

W.G. Deddis

The Department of Surveying, University of Ulster, Northern Ireland


and J.S. Hanna

The Department of Civil Engineering and Transport, University of
Ulster, Northern Ireland

Abstract

The paper investigates market research and development appraisal as applied to golf course development in Ireland. Market research in a strategic context, relating to demand and supply, and the market for golf course development, is considered initially. Then, at the geographic location level, issues concerning market location and methods of site selection are investigated. The question of land availability (land suitable for golf course use) and the extent to which developers use market research and site selection techniques is evaluated. Finally, development appraisal in theory and practice is examined in relation to current development activity.

Keywords: Market Research, Demand and Supply, Site Selection, Development Appraisal, Golf Course Development.


1. Introduction

Golf course development is a test of appraisal expertise and management competence. Developments can and do fail, and some golf courses will always do better than others. Failures have arisen largely because developments have been design led as opposed to appraisal led, (Deddis 1992, Price 1993).

Historically, golf courses have not been significant revenue producers. Clubs operated largely on a break even basis and profit was not a consideration. However,. the increasing popularisation of golf has increased pressure on existing courses. This pressure is manifest as follows: increased club membership quotas, long waiting lists for membership, pre-booking and early morning queues to play at weekends. Demand apparently is insatiable. In the past decade (worldwide) golf has become a high profile big business with increased earning potential and investment.

The “Golf Boom” of the late 1980's produced many successful developments. Deepening economic recession in the UK led to some spectacular failures making headlines in the early 1990's. This did not mean golf course development was no longer viable. On the contrary, many experts believe that further developments may be profitable. The belief is qualified with the caveat that facilities provided must be of the right type, in the right place, well conceived, profitable and well managed. Golf course development must be the product of appropriate market research and rigorous development appraisal.

The methodology used by the authors incorporated a number of approaches. A literature review was undertaken. Person to person interviews with developers and officials of the Golf Union of Ireland were conducted. Primary research included questionnaire surveys of utilised respectively, were comprised as follows: 20

Science and Golf II: Proceedings of the World Scientific Congress of Golf. Edited by A.J. Cochran and M.R. Farrally. Published in 1994 by E & FN Spon, London. ISBN 0 419 18790 1

-554-

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