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Taking Golf’s Pulse

McMahon Group conducted a Pulse Survey earlier this year to learn about issues and trends related to golf in private clubs. There were a total of 329 responses to the survey. Below are highlights from the report, which had 329 responses.


Golf Facilities/Amenities: Golf offerings at clubs in 2017 compared to a similar golf study in 2009.

2017 Pulse Survey 2009 Pulse Survey

1. Practice putting green (89%)

2. Short-game practice area (84%)

3. Junior golf program (77%)

4. Full-service driving range (75%)

5. Video training (60%)

6. Trainers specialized in golf fitness (33%)

7. Golf-specific fitness equipment (27%)

8. Indoor hitting facility (27%)

9. Golf performance center (17%)

10. Restricted driving range (16%)

11. Short course (8%)

1. Practice putting green (83%)

2. Full-service driving range (72%)

3. Junior golf program (70%)

4. Trainers specialized in golf fitness (26%)

5. Restricted driving range (24%)

6. Golf-specific fitness equipment (20%)

7. Indoor hitting facility (11%)

Golf Usage:
The chart below shows how golf usage has changed over the last three years for different member segments.

Designated Golf Programs: The most popular golf programs being offered at clubs:

1.       PGA’s Junior League Golf (39%)

2.       Tee It Forward (39%)

3.       PGA’s Get Golf Ready (24%)

4.       Designated 3-, 6- and 9-hole play (23%)

5.       Drive, Chip & Putt (18%)

Additional golf-centric programs clubs are instituting include:

·         Themed golf events and programs centered around women (e.g. Chips & Sips, Wine & Nine)

·         Tee times for young families

·         Simulator leagues

·         Operation 36 Golf (

Average Annual Golf Course Budget: Just over $1.5 million.


Make Tee Times: Eighty-one percent of respondents stated they allow members to make tee times. From this group, here are the ways members can make a tee time:

1.       Phone (62%)

2.       Website (49%)*

3.       Mobile APP (40%)

4.       Text message (9%)

5.       Lottery (9%)

6.       Priority System (4%)

7.       Other (2%)

*The most used tee time software programs are ForeTees, Clubessential and Jonas.


Golf Cart Fleet: Twenty-eight percent of responding clubs own their fleet, 69 percent lease and the remaining do a combination of both.

Pull Carts: Sixty-eight percent of responding clubs offer pull carts for their members, and 79 percent stated members could use them at any time.


Caddies: Only 37 percent of clubs stated they have an established caddie program.

Golf Simulators: Nineteen percent of respondents have golf simulators at their club. Nearly half (47%) of this group have specifically designed programs/leagues for their members, and only 38 percent offer some type of social gathering space around their simulators.

Among those clubs who do not have simulators, 34 percent stated there is demand from membership to add them.

Pulse Survey Reports are complimentary to those who complete the survey. If you did not have a chance to complete this Pulse Survey, but still would like a copy of the report, please contact Bill McMahon Jr. at [email protected].

Be on the lookout for future Pulse Surveys from McMahon Group throughout 2017. If you have any questions about the results, please call McMahon Group at 314-744-5040.


Club Trends Spring 2017