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

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

85

Market appraisals for new golf projects

M.G. Williamson
Consulting Director, TMS, Edinburgh, UK

Abstract

A market is best thought of as a productive matching of supply and demand-not just a head count of potential customers, even if that were possible. Drawing on the author's experience of carrying out research nationally for Sports Councils and locally for enterprise companies and developers, the paper describes a methodology for appraising potential demand for new golf facilities. The methodology takes account of the limited national and local data available, but also recognises the need for demand appraisals to be project-specific. In particular, the demand for any project will both influence and be influenced by the facilities to be provided, and how these are managed and marketed. Even the most rigorous demand assessments can at best provide targets, not guarantees. But, seen in this light, a good demand assessment becomes an integral part of the whole process of successful site selection, design, implementation, management and marketing of new golf facilities. The 'golf boom' is dead; long live good new golf development, where science and art combine to create facilities which meet real demand, and which can be both financially viable and environmentally friendly in so doing.

Keywords: Market Appraisal, Supply and Demand, Targets, Management and Marketing.


1 Introduction
The 1988-90 'golf boom' in the UK has much to answer for. The plethora of unresearched and over-designed projects has left developers bankrupt and the countryside, particularly in England, bearing the scars of abandoned projects. More importantly for the future, the failures that hit the headlines have left a legacy of suspicion among planners and financiers which often amounts to a clear presumption against supporting new golf projects of any kind. At the same time, it is no bad thing that developers now have to try harder to gain support for their projects. However, there is some danger, as always, of the pendulum swinging too far in the opposite direction. The potential demand for new projects must be assessed, but
a) the data available for analysis are limited;
b) demand cannot be quantified-this is a social science of few certainties, and the world would be a grey place if it were otherwise;
c) demand and supply are inextricably linked-the location, design, product mix, and pricing of the proposed facilities will influence as well as be influenced by potential demand.

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

-569-

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