The 2017 Dilemma

By Tom Monaghan, PGA of Canada & President of Monaghan Golf Group

A Year to Remember, or a Year to Forget?

2017 has been a challenging year for most golf facilities in British Columbia. A combination of prolonged snow in the lower Mainland, an extended early spring with cold and wet weather province-wide and flooding in the Okanagan has caused 2017 to be one of the worst starts to the golf season we have seen in many decades. For us at Monaghan Golf Group we have experienced all of these extremes and it has put us well behind for the year. There are a few things you can do to get through these challenging times and help to minimize losses or at least start to feel more comfortable as you approach year-end.

  1. Recognize the people impacted by Mother Nature’s peril! Your staff, members and regular players have been impacted by a slow start and closures. Give your staff the kudos they deserve in braving the storm, offer some added value to your members and regulars for their loyalty and support. These acts will build happiness and trust after a slow start.

  2. Plan your retail promotions around an oversupply of inventory. Likely a slow start means your golf shops are still fairly full of inventory. Stay on top of promotions and plan clear outs accordingly.  Don’t get stuck with too much inventory at the end of the year.
  3. Make sure your business insurance is up to date. It is easy to get complacent when it comes to insurance, but make sure you review your coverage yearly with your broker. Don’t forget that you are the customer and make sure your broker is working hard for you.
  4. Stay positive.  Years like 2017 happen, it is inevitable. It is important to look at the golf business in 3-5 year chunks. Let’s not forget that 2015 and 2016 were very good years with decent growth and great stretches of weather. That will happen again, we just need to get through this year!

I am ready to forget about 2017 from a business perspective but the learning opportunities we’ve had as a company are hard to quantify. Going forward we are stronger, more knowledgeable, better prepared and more resilient because of a year like this one.

Sometimes it takes adversity to see how strong you really are. It's not all bad is it?