In Pursuit of Better Course Performance Benchmarking: Establishing the Baseline is Fundamental
I don’t think it would be exaggeration to say that Stuart Lindsay and I have had more, longer and deeper discussions around the topic of responsible course performance benchmarking than likely any other two individuals in the industry. Even before I arrived to the industry in 2000, Stuart was doing monthly and weekly analysis in longhand on yellow sheets of paper (he still has many of them, I can’t tell if they started as yellow legal sheets or they’re just yellow due to their age). He graduated to electronic reports as the PoS systems evolved to provide the basics of rounds and revenue and then he and I collaborated on taking those a step further to customer franchise analysis for the PoS systems that make what we call a customer-to-transaction tie in those early systems (FORE!, Fairway Systems, Club Prophet etc.).
Over the years we’ve refined our thinking, worked within the (continuing) limitations of the majority of PoS systems (no single report comparatives, no day-of-week offsets between years etc.), introduced automated, rules-based weather impact at individual facility level and developed our own, informal benchmarks for performance from analyzing more than 200 courses over the years. In this issue Stuart’s going to outline some of the latest thinking and debate over how to accurately assess baseline performance, pricing changes, tee time spacing options and short-term promotions:
• “You can’t have an intelligent discussion about course performance without factoring in weather” (Stuart Lindsay circa 2000) – Why?
• Establishing a consistent, arbitrary, automated tools and approach to establishing performance baselines – Change the inputs and get different answers; which one is “right”?
• Applying our tools and approach to the riddle of the tee times spacing sphinx – We’ll do some quick math and show how much higher Utilization is needed to generate more revenue in 10 minute spacings vs. the common alternating 8/9s.
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