The Hingham, Mass., property already features golf, bowling, swimming, pickleball and more, but is continuing to explore ways to expand its recreational offerings. The property is logging a record 50,000 annual golf rounds, and recently compiled a five-year business plan.
South Shore Country Club in Hingham, Mass., which features golf, bowling, swimming, and many other activities for all ages, is exploring ways to expand its recreational offerings and create new revenue sources, the Hingham Journal reported.
“The existence of SSCC’s public golf course and recreational facilities adds to the overall value of the town as a place to live and raise a family,” said Director of Operations Jay McGrail.
A key goal is to provide Hingham residents and the general public with quality recreational facilities and to generate positive revenue for the town. “We’re looking for more business-type opportunities,” McGrail said.
SSCC is logging a record number of golf rounds (about 50,000 annually), which makes it one of the busiest golf courses in the state, despite an increase in the number of golf courses in surrounding communities, the Journal reported.
McGrail and members of the club management committee recently compiled a five-year business plan for 2017 through 2021 at the request of the selectmen in addition to its five-year capital plan and an equipment replacement schedule. “These will be useful tools moving forward,” McGrail said.
This was part of a recent advisory committee conversation in addition to highlights of the last five years. While the SSCC operations are currently projected to generate a positive cash flow, the management committee plans to continue exploring new sources of revenue to offset anticipated capital and operating expenses necessary to independently maintain the aging facilities and to continue to improve its recreational offerings, the Journal reported.
Advisory committee member James Sharkansky said while SSCC offers a “great course,” he’s concerned about the aging buildings. “Have you thought about the possibility of a partnership with a private investor (who would hold a minority share) to provide an infusion of capital for the whole facility?” he asked.
Sharkansky also suggested starting a small tennis camp, an idea McGrail said the club is working on. While overall the club is successful, deficits from the pool operation this fiscal year, a really tough winter last year that caused a lot of damage, and poor weather early this spring resulted in some financial challenges, the Journal reported.
“Things are pretty tight. We’re carrying a lot of debt load, and emergency things do come up,” McGrail said. “We’re looking closely at our payroll and possibly lowering some of our overhead and fixed costs” while at the same time maintaining the top-quality programs and services currently offered and enjoyed by the entire community and beyond.
This season the pool will be run on a different basis in cooperation with the YMCA, which should improve the club’s financial picture. The club also pays its own debts, even though it is owned by the town, the Journal reported.
“We’ve put a lot of capital back into the facility,” McGrail said, noting that deferred maintenance from the time the facility was run by an outside entity took a toll on the budget.
The committee and McGrail will be considering the future of the pool. One possibility is to transform it into a year-round use. “We’ll be looking at the long-term viability of the pool,” McGrail said. “There’s a lot of information to analyze. We welcome the town’s involvement in this process.”
It’s the intent to continue to invest in the golf operation, which, while the largest portion of the expense budget, is also the club’s main revenue source. As a way to increase the revenue stream, new offerings such as more golf camps and increasing the number of charity and corporate outings are part of the plan. McGrail and the management committee are open to ideas, the Journal reported.
The bowling alley operation will continue, with plans to increase marketing efforts with regard to bowling parties and leagues and to appeal to younger bowlers. Another idea is to combine bowling with other recreational and dining opportunities offered at the club, the Journal reported.
SSCC, in cooperation with Hingham Rec, now offers Pickleball, as an example of expanding its offerings. Raffael’s and the Greenside Grille continue to provide high-quality food and beverages under a contract with SSCC. The outdoor seasonal tent is also a popular feature, the Journal reported.
Sharkansky said he would like to see SSCC “become a destination point where people spend the whole day,” the Journal reported.