A bit of sharing and learning

I was in Finland today to speak to a group of about 200 golf club managers, golf course owners, course superintendents and golf professionals (isn’t that a really strange word by the way? I would have thought all these people are golf professionals as they earn their living in golf and yet the only one referred to as a golf professional is the PGA member). It is in a way amasing the opportunities that some of the smaller countries have when it comes to gathering the right group of people in one place. You would need something like the O2 Arena to hold this group in England but perhaps that is what should be done. No doubt something happens when you get these people in one room. Among these people is where the future of golf in any country is created.

The topic of this conference was the expected ones; How do we in golf meet the challenges of the future? When most news are about falling membership and decreasing revenue it was incredibly refreshing to listen to the Michelin star restaurant chef turned golf facility CEO Henk-Jan De Boer from Burggolf in Holland. Burggolf own and operate nine golf courses around Holland and they do it in some way. The order in which the restaurants and the revenue from food and beverage has been transformed by a true professional of that business I would say is in a league of its own. Yes, Holland is area-wise a small country and it is fairly easy to control and operate these nine clubs. There is also a lot of people per square mile and it may help that golf clubs in Holland today are just about the only place where you can find a free parking place outside a good restaurant. That is what I call playing to your strengths!

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