As a member of a local popular golf course, there are times when I am fighting for a tee time. The reasons for this challenge varies, but it is something that all golfers experience. Unfortunately, the staff at the course will bare the brunt of cranky members, however is it really their fault? Or are they the messenger that just got shot?
Before flying off the handle next time you cannot secure your preferred tee time, it might be worth thinking about why the course is so busy and maybe it has nothing to do with the person you are about to tear a strip off of. So, let me put things into perspective just a little bit.
- Fixed Costs. The cost to operate a golf course increase every year. Running any business is challenging, but running a golf course is even more so. Our local course hires about 20 local people; they cut grass every day, make constant improvements to the course, maintain expensive equipment, and ensure that there is someone available from 7 am to 8 pm to service customers (to name a few). The fixed costs never go away!
- Variable Costs. These costs are something that are unforeseen and cannot be account for when business planning. For example, this spring was a complete bust. We never really started golfing regularly until June. Thus very little revenue for the course in May. Additionally, there are fertilizer costs, tree removal, cart repairs, etc. The variable costs can be very high.
- Too many tournaments. As a member, I wish the course did not have to host any tournaments, but that is completely unrealistic. I am not willing to pay the membership costs needed to have not events. So, in order for my course to survive, tournaments are a must.
- Hosting special events. As a form of tournaments, Osprey links hosts various charitable events. The one that sticks out in my mind this year was the Special Olympics tournament last month. Osprey Links gives back to the community and sometimes at a loss. There is a bigger picture here for sure.
- Specific tee times. As with any course, there are specific times that are coveted. Usually early morning before 9 am and later in the afternoon. It is a challenge getting a time then, but outside these timings you can walk on and play. Even if busy, a single can usually find a match!
As you can see that it is not always easy to get a tee time. We as members have to keep in mind that our favourite sports facility is a business and they have to do what is needed to first survive, then make a profit. So, the next time you decide to complain about fighting for a tee time, make sure you understand all the facts before teeing off on the proshop staff.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!