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Home Daily Golf Briefs 2010 Archives

Web Street Golf Daily Pulse

VOLUME 1, NUMBER 226

Friday, November 19, 2010

ANY IDEA WHO SAID THIS? “They say blonds have more fun, so we'll see if that can work this week.”

ON THIS DAY: In 1989, Curtis Strange and Mark O’Meara teamed to win the Ronald McDonald Children’s Charity Invitational hosted by Greg Norman.

STREET SIGNS: Its been said more than once in this space that its a different world. Consider Exhibit A: Tiger Woods. A year ago his world was about to change dramatically. Today he is working on improving his public image. He’s even giving Twitter a shot in an attempt to connect with his fan base. Perhaps Woods is an extreme example of how (quickly) things can change. However, in business staying the course isn’t always going to guarantee the anticipated or expected outcome.

Throughout 2010, golf has seen a decline in the frequency of play at the recreational level. Its unknown all of the factors that have influenced this, even if some appear more obvious than others. Price is a critical element in any transaction and it has become the new battleground being waged between courses and consumers. Choices in any given geography can be plentiful as tee sheets offer availability. But cost more than likely is the tipping point for many interested consumers and understating the market has never been more important whether its the consumer or the course operator. Tolerance towards over paying has never been as high as it is today regardless of whether its applied to a tee time or holiday shopping.

Research produced by the Longitudes Group offers a glimpse into the pricing practices happening in the real world. The results might catch you off guard. The company compared green fee prices from 2007 to 2010 in the mid to higher-end range of courses. It captured information on 353 Metropolitan areas (>50,000 pop), which represents about 82% of America living in an Urban/Suburban area. The research also separated green fees into two different groups: All courses (Private/Semi-Private/Resort /Public-Daily Fee/Military) and those that are considered strictly Public/Daily Fee. Among some of the key insights with its analysis was All Courses fees decreased on average -2.5% in the Top 50 metros areas in the US. (0.2% for 353 Metros). Public course fees, however, increased on average 4% in the Top 50 metros (7.2% for 353 Metros). “ It looks like the lower-priced and public courses have felt they could increase green fees, while the better courses, resorts, semi-privates have felt price pressure,” said Sara Killeen of Longitudes Group. “All courses (Private/Semi-private/Resort/Public) we found no correlation with Unemployment rates and green fees,” she added.

America’s largest cities (Top 10) have seen even more price pressure with All Courses’ fees down 5.2%, according to the research. Two cities experienced green fees that are down across all categories since 2007: Atlanta and Washington DC. Over-inflated prices prior to the economy going into the toilet hung in there better than expected as Phoenix and Dallas in the Top 10 are down in only two of the three categories. Meanwhile, the city with big shoulders, Chicago was the ONLY city that experienced ALL green fees going up 11.8%, double the rate of inflation during 2007-2010.

The conventional thinking is that rounds played are a necessary ingredient towards leading consumers to buying new equipment. Some locations may be more price sensitive than others when it comes to teeing it up, however what flies in one city, state doesn’t necessarily imply it’s the case elsewhere. “ In sum, all of this bodes well for golfer’s spending power in the country, but it does vary from place to place!!” said Killeen. For more information on prices and trends contact Sara Killeen This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

NOT A PRETTY PICTURE: A large research report into the golf industry in Ireland has found there is a significant amount of debt in clubs, especially among newer clubs, which made large capital investment. There has been a 10 percent decline in membership numbers in the past year, as the recession has hit the Emerald Isle. The Irish industry has the capacity to support over 23 million rounds of golf in a given year; however, the analysis shows that, at most, 14.7 million rounds were played in 2009, which indicates a level of under-utilization over 30 percent. The research also found a significant amount of debt, especially among newer clubs that made large capital investments in the last 10-15 years. Almost 75 percent of clubs made capital investment over the past three years, with the highest rate in Dublin where almost 93 per cent of clubs incurred capital expenditure.

The report found a clear need for strategic planning, and suggests many clubs require help in “developing a business turnaround plan that addresses strategic deficiencies and operational ineffectiveness.” READ MORE>>>

THUMBS UP OR DOWN? Rory McIlroy is taking a path less traveled. In fact, it could be argued he might also be blazing a new trail thus suggesting the 21-year old might be a pioneer of sorts. The Irishman has a new app (FREE to download) for iPhone 4 users that offers the rare chance to hear directly from him, before and after his rounds. The messages are intended to provide insight into how he’s feeling at key times as well as how he prepares at various stages throughout the season. He also promises some banter from the Tour along with photos and video.

The first review on iTunes for the app shared some disappointment. “The user interface is poor, difficult to read some section and the application has crashed a number of times. Especially disappointed that there is a charge of $7.99 to subscribe to the app and get access to exclusive voice mails...”

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING? Golf Digest tackled the issue of the square groove ruling after its first year of being banished from the PGA Tour. It looks at the numbers and interviews those who played by the new rule. "No, not at all," said Sean O'Hair when asked if the rule change made much of a difference. “I don't think the grooves themselves had any issue out there. For me, I actually thought it was easier out of the rough because you know you're going to get a flyer. Sometimes with square grooves it would fly, and sometimes it wouldn't. So it actually took the guessing out of it for me. I liked the new grooves a little bit better." READ MORE>>>

ONE OF A KIND: Tom Watson's legendary career in golf has always been defined by a select number of special moments. Who will ever forget Watson's near triumph in the 2009 in the Open Championship? Or "The Shot" that helped him win the 1982 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach?

For those who are fans of Watson and his Hall of Fame career, there is, for the first time, a special opportunity to own commemorative pieces honoring those moments. Available only on his website, TomWatson.com, are five autographed, exquisitely matted and framed pieces. Each item listed below is incased in non-glare, 99% conservation quality glass, a sealed frame (for protection), a rich black dust cover, and is wired for immediate display. For the photographs, the Giclee print is made using pigment inks and Museo Silver Ray fine art paper. Each also has a brass plate commemorating the special event pictured. Prices start at $595. READ MORE>>>

WEB GEMS:

ALMOST: Ian Poulter claimed the halfway lead at the UBS Hong Kong Open after producing a stunning second round of 60 to move to 13-under par. "I had five birdies from the seventh and as soon as that happened I felt there were plenty of chances coming in. I am happy but slightly disappointed." READ MORE>>>

STAYING PUT: Ryo Ishikawa is adding his name to those who have decided not to play the PGA Tour in 2011. "No interest," he said. "I want to do what I did this year." READ MORE>>>

IT WILL COST YOU: The spoils of victory came with a price recently for US Open Champ, Graeme McDowell. "All because I was carrying the US Open trophy that I brought to Shanghai, Singapore and on to Hong Kong, so that people could admire it," said an angry McDowell. READ MORE>>>

STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION? The PGA Tour Policy Board, where some pretty darned good ideas go to die quiet, lonely deaths. READ MORE>>>

LAST BUT NOT LEAST: If you like what you have seen with the Daily Pulse, help spread the word. Pass along your copy. Its free and all anyone needs to do is send an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it asking to be put on the distribution list. It is a complete opt in or out system.

BEFORE WE GO: If you feel like you may have missed something from a back issue feel free to check out the archive section of the Daily Pulse, which includes an easy to use word search!

ANSWER: Rory McIlroy on his new look.

THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IS BELIEVED TO BE RELIABLE, BUT IT IS NOT GUARANTEED. THE OPINION EXPRESSED IS THAT OF TERRY O AND SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED A SOLICITATION TO BUY OR SELL SECURITIES IN ANY OF THE COMPANIES DISCUSSED WITHIN THIS NEWSLETTER. CONTENTS OF THIS NEWSLETTER MAY NOT BE REPRINTED OR REBROADCAST WITHOUT THE EXPRESSED WRITTEN CONSENT OF TMAC GOLF