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Sept Perspective: Is Pay-go Golf Part of Industry “Fix”?

Dear Golf Industry Professional: As the FedEx money chase continues and is interestingly being eclipsed by the Ryder Cup PR and passions (although the former offers a million dollar payout and the latter simply bragging rights), those of us in the operations trenches move into the shoulder season here in the north while the southern climates gear up to shift into their primetime as the heat subsides. Hurricane Florence has done its damage to the SE Coast and local owner/operators and now works its way north through the Ohio River Valley bringing rain and dampening the September results for a swath of courses in its path. It’s a challenging close to the 3rd quarter and will no doubt be an asterisk on the demand and revenue statements for a number of courses at year end.

This month’s lead story takes a look at the developing technology and interest by golfers and owner/operators alike in the Pay-as-you-go (Pay-go) consumer offering. Publisher Jim Koppenhaver takes a look at the experience and some of the early consumer and courses adoption and his take on what appears to be a solution to 2 of the 3 key barriers to increased participation and rounds: Time and Cost (it doesn’t however address Jim’s challenge; lack of skill). The multiple competitors in this space aren’t having viral success but the fundamental concept and the use of technology appear sound; at this point it will be up to the adoption rate by courses and the consumer trial and repeat metrics:

In addition, the September issue covers the following topics, none of which you’ll find in any other industry trade publication, guaranteed:

  • Contributing Editor Stuart Lindsay uses the platform of the impending Ryder Cup to once again outline his case that golf is missing a golden opportunity to reposition the benefits of match play in making golf fun for players of all abilities through handicaps and a range of competitions using that level playing field vs. tying the average amateur golfer to stroke play and the pursuit of almighty par. We love his recounting of how multi-billion dollar company CEOs sweat over a $2 Nassau when the match is at stake and they wouldn’t even have been in the hunt using stroke play; we need more of that

  • Editor-in-Chief Jim Dunlap is back in form and has the feel-good story of the month (a rarity for Pellucid, we admit) regarding how the NJ municipal Paramus Golf Course is using mini-golf, ice cream and anything else that’s either not illegal or immoral to generate profits and invest in its own future. It’s a rare picture in muni-world these days so soak it in and learn from it if your facility has a similar opportunity and potential

  • Plus the monthly Industry Scorecard (the only integrated scorecard of multi-source performance indicators) including the August weather impact results (flat again) and the July YtD Utilization (down marginally, rounds declined against flat weather). We also chart the monthly timeseries for the year of Golf Playable Hours and Utilization while our Market Focus continues with the profile of St. Louis MO as this month’s Market Focus which registers as the 25th healthiest of the Top 25 US Golf Markets in our annual ranking.

We recognize and thank our continuing sponsors; KemperSports, Troon Golf, Bayer CropScience, EZLinks Golf. We’re also happy to welcome the agronomy management platform to the advertiser fold. Distributed in the US by longtime industry colleague Jeff Blunden, Turfkeeper is a cloud-based platform that provides control of and insight into all of the key elements of agronomy management, helping to create and deliver a more fully optimised turf operation. We were impressed with our preview of the system, reach out to Jeff if you’d like a system demonstration (

For all those service providers and suppliers to the golf industry out there with the latest-and-greatest to offer to the industry thought-leaders who read our monthly publication, might we suggest considering joining our merry little band through our most popular 12-month sponsorship program? (offered at an improved value relative to our entry-level six month sponsorship rate) Twelve-month sponsors also receive all Pellucid industry-standard reports (State of the Industry, Outside the Ropes, Monthly Weather Impact Tracking (Nat’l, Reg’l, Markets), Top 25 US Golf Markets Scorecard and National Golf Consumer Franchise Health Scorecard).

Sponsorship provides monthly exposure to approximately 30K industry leaders and followers and associates your brand with Pellucid’s effort to expand intelligent thinking on today’s most challenging industry issues. For more “opportunistic” spenders, we might suggest one of our smaller-bite Ad Partner programs for those who may not be able to make a 6 or 12-month commitment (as short as 3 months are now available) or who may not need a half page or more exposure (quarter pages now available). If you’re interested in knowing more about sponsorship opportunities or are interested in a preview of our ad partner options, contact Editor-in-Chief Jim Dunlap (760-212-3714,

If you know of associates who would benefit from the topics and insights covered in this issue, feel free to forward this email and encourage them to register on the Pellucid website ( to join the conversation, discussion and debate.

We also want to bring to your attention Pellucid’s next generation golf course database, the Internet Golf Course Database (IGDB) with partners Apparation LLC, Never-Search and We’ve just completed a manual review of thousands of facilities against the industry’s legacy facility database provider and found hundreds of discrepancies in the existence of facilities (they’re missing quite a few of the Learning & Practice facilities across the US & they’re still carrying 100+ closed facilities), address errors and facility name errors. While no database will ever be 100% accurate, we were surprised at the quantity and range of inconsistencies as well as the fact that most of the major tee time providers and recommendation sites (like GolfAdvisor) are propagating these phantom facilities and errors 5-10 fold for people doing Google searches online. Talk about an “echo chamber”… For more information on our comprehensive database, updated quarterly and refreshed completely every 12 months (all 15K+ US courses), contact

As always, you can review and order any of Pellucid’s range of reports and services at From the numbers and details of how our industry’s consumer base is changing at the national level to our individual facility-level services including weather impact (Cognilogic) and market analysis (Golf Local Market Analysis), we’ll keep you one step ahead of the competition in this continuing challenging industry landscape.


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