Two of the 2006 Excellence in Club Management Awards co-sponsored by McMahon Group, Inc. and Club & Resort Business were presented last month. (ABOVE LEFT) Frank Vain, McMahon Group President, presented to Rick Sussman, CCM, General Manager of Sharon Heights Golf & Country Club, Menlo Park, Calif. (ABOVE RIGHT) Bill McMahon, Jr., McMahon Group Vice President of Marketing, presented to Michael J. McCarthy, COO and GM of BallenIsles Country Club, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. A full report on all winners and why they earned recognition will appear in C&RB later this year.
Closures Outpace Openings in 2006
For the first time in six decades, more golf facilities closed in 2006 than opened, according to a report by the National Golf Foundation (NGF). While 119.5 courses opened, the NGF recorded a 56 percent jump in closings between 2005 and 2006, from 93.5 to 146. The closings represent about one percent of the total supply of golf courses in the country.
However, the culling of courses is not viewed as a negative by NGF: “We would expect overall course supply to stop expanding in the absence of increases in demand,” the report states. “It is primarily the weaker courses that are closing and, in many cases, owners who sell are profiting from long-term real estate appreciation. Finally, a better quality in the overall golf supply means a better experience for players.”
Mississippi Golf Sales Increase Despite Katrina
Sales at Mississippi public golf courses increased 8.6 percent during the 2006 fiscal year (July 1, 2005 to June 30, 2006) despite the effects of Hurricane Katrina during that period, the state’s Division of Tourism recently reported. “These statistics are particularly telling because they occurred during a terribly challenging time, and show how popular Mississippi’s golf-and-gaming attractions have become,” says D. Craig Ray, Tourism Division Director. New course openings are expected through 2007 to further bolster golf sales in the state.