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This section not only discusses, explains, and evaluates the reviewed sources and data, but also reports on the appropriateness of the sources and data in resolving the business problem. The sources contain important information and data that can be used to answer a whole range of issues related to establishing a captivating outdoor business intended to provide opportunities for all types of people across the socioeconomic hierarchy.
Discussion of the Data/Information
The sources reviewed provide important insights into the American golf scene in terms of growth trajectories, customer trends, and market. One particular source reveals that golf participation in America has been on a downward spiral from the 1960s, hence the need for business practitioners intending to invest in the sport to come up with novel approaches to attract golfers and increase participation rates (Beditz and Kass 2). Figure 1 below captures the declines in the number of participants and golf courses in the recent past.
The figure above shows that golfers are declining at a faster rate than the golf courses, hence the need to develop innovative marketing strategies and come up with ways to target non-traditional golfers and attract them into the sport. The proposed business may target women and youth as available scholarship demonstrates a widening appeal for the sport among these groups of the population (Brauer par. 10). These customer segments may provide the much needed revenues and sustain the business until the situation improves.
The proposed business aims to provide people of all statuses with a chance to enjoy the beauty of golf, theoretically and practically. Yet, available scholarship demonstrates that less than 1% of low income minority women in the United States actively participate in the game as opposed to more than 25% of higher-income white/Asian working men (Beditz and Kass 3).
It is also important to note that, since 2006, golf course closings have outnumbered openings even after some business owners started charging less than $40 for greens fees during peak times (Cook par. 8). Such a projection points out to an attitudinal problem in playing golf rather than a cost-related problem, hence the need for the researcher to develop unique strategies to change the attitudes of people when it comes to golf.
Despite the shortcomings, available scholarship demonstrates that the United States is still a popular destination for golf sport as the country is home to 53% of the world’s golf course supply (“Golf around the World” 14). The area has a wide potential for the sport if population estimates for North America are put into consideration.
Table 1 next page shows that more people may be ready and willing to play golf if strategies are put in place to attract more individuals into the sport. The table shows that, although North America has a substantial number of golf facilities (18,145), the region is nevertheless densely populated (561,072,904) and more people may translate into more business opportunities for golf clubs if concerted efforts are taken to attract them to the golf course. People can indeed be attracted by low prices and increased opportunities as proposed in the business plan
Table 1: “Golf Facilities Compared to Population” (“Golf around the World” Source: 5)
|Region||Population||Golf Holes||Golf Facilities||Population/Golf Hole|
Once established in the United States, the business can expand to other geographical areas that have registered improvements in golf participation in the recent past. Available literature demonstrates that most European countries continue to register significant increases in golf participation despite the economic downturn and the noted decline in golf participation in other regions around the world (“Golf Participation” par. 2). Figure 2 demonstrates the expansion potential for the proposed business
One particular source has place particular importance on running golf courses as businesses, hence the need for continual replacement and renovation of key facilities of the golf business in order to stay current in the marketplace (Brauer par. 3).
Indeed, according to this source, a long-term redevelopment plan should be put in place and activated when the management notes deficiencies in the structure of the club. Such redevelopment plans may reduce costs in the long term, implying that golfers can enjoy the sport at substantially reduced prices.
Lastly, the available literature is clear that golf clubs often market a service and a product, hence the need to provide existing and potential members with superior choice and better value for money (Kirsch 254). It is documented that the above can be achieved through remodeling, renovating, and upgrading existing facilities to attract more customers and sustain competitiveness (Brauer par. 5).
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Appropriateness of the Data/Information
The data and information reviewed is appropriate in terms of underscoring the need for this particular researcher to develop innovative marketing strategies and also to target non-traditional golfing segments (e.g., women and youth) to ensure the sustainability and competitiveness of the business. In reducing the costs involved in opening a new business, the data reviewed is appropriate in sharing the knowledge that new operators can purchase old facilities and remodel, renovate, or upgrade them to attract a sustainable customer base and reinforce loyalty (Brauer par. 5-6).
The information on the minimal number of low-end customers who participate in the game may serve as a wakeup call for the researcher to consider expanding the target market with the view to ensuring the sustainability and competitiveness of the proposed business. The researcher may also decide to develop marketing initiatives targeted at demonstrating that the golf sport is not for affluent members only.
The data and information so far reviewed is also appropriate in terms of demonstrating the need to expand the target customer market due to plummeting golf participation rates (Beditz and Kass 2). This shows that the researcher may have to reconsider his marketing plan to include the customer segments that are showing signs of growth (e.g., women and youth) in addition to providing cheap golf courses.
Additionally, the information on golf course closures and minimal costs charged to access the golf courses suggests that the researcher may need to develop dynamic and focused strategies to change the attitudes of people with the view to attracting them into the golf course. Lastly, the information and data on population and other golf markets is important as it shows the potential for a ready market in North America and possible expansion areas.
The discussion and evaluation of reviewed sources and data demonstrate that the business problem highlighted can be addressed, though the researcher needs to incorporate innovative marketing approaches and target a broader customer base to increase chances of success. The researcher also needs to develop initiatives aimed at changing the attitudes of people toward golf. Such strategies will enhance more participation and improve customer numbers while at the same time ensuring that people of all walks of life are necessitated to enjoy the game.
Beditz, Joseph and James R. Kass. Golf Participation in America, 2010-2020, 2010. Web.
Brauer, Jeffrey D. The Business of Golf Course Remodeling, 2015. Web.
Cook, Bob. How a Declining Middle Class is Killing Golf, 2014. Web.
Golf around the World, 2015. Web.
Golf Participation in Europe 2015, 2015. Web.
Kirsch, George B. Golf in America: Sport and Society, Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 2008. Print.