We are emerging out of the best spring ever, eyes focused on the busier summer months ahead. Many of our facilities are seeing record rounds of golf (40% above last year in Washington and Oregon in March, many Idaho and Montana courses opening earlier than ever). Trying to prepare a staff ahead of the “normal” season is a challenge for many facilities. Yet, we roll up our sleeves, move forward and carry on to promote this game and serve our customers.

Congrats to Darren Black for his narrow victory in the Washington Open last month at Meridian Valley CC. A special thanks to Greg and Chris Manley, for hosting our first major of the year with professionalism and class. The Muckelshoot Pro-Am was a huge success largely due to the efforts of Chris, filling up the field and providing a top-notch experience for the amateurs and professionals alike. These tournaments don’t “just happen.” Please take 5 minutes out of your schedule and write thank you letters to our sponsors and facility decision makers. It’s the simplest gesture we can do as professionals to show appreciation for the excellent events we are fortunate enough to play in.

TopGolf is coming to the Pacific Northwest, with the first facility breaking ground last month in Hillsboro, Oregon, just west of Portland. By now, I’m sure most of us have heard of TopGolf and the growth of the popular golf centers. As this facility opens in the Spring of 2016, it will have an impact on golf in the Portland Metro area. Will it be good or bad for the local golf economy? That answer probably depends upon your perspective, whether you are a facility owner/operator or a golfer looking for a new experience.

What can we learn from the success of TopGolf? I think most of all it should be about the fun. They’ve created a business that caters to the fun side of golf. No dress code, cocktail lounge atmosphere, interactive gaming, and great social opportunities. It’s estimated that 50% of their clients don’t consider themselves golfers at all. Yet they are growing at an exponential rate with current facilities full to the brim with long lines for hitting spots, as they have created a non-intimidating way to hang out around the game of golf. We could all “borrow” some of their best practices at our facilities. Some of the very best ideas are not original!

Bryan Tunstill, PGA
Columbia Edgewater CC
(503) 285-8354 | Bryan.Tunstill@cecc.com