The golf industry in the United States has grown tremendously over the last fifteen years, due primarily to the surging economy during the 1990s and the rise of Tiger Woods with his record-setting win at the 1997 Masters. The National Golf Foundation's (NGF) latest report, however, showed that, the number of rounds played, a key barometer of golf industry growth, has been declining since 2008 and the number of core golfers has also declined (Rudy, 2008). Municipal golf courses, "Munis," are coping with a myriad of challenges such as declining number of rounds played, budget cuts, escalating benefits expenses for city employees, the increased cost of turf management, and so on.
For example, the city of Albuquerque has increased their green fees to cover costs of maintaining their three municipal courses; however, no data exists to analyze the impact of this decision. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to analyze factors affecting consumers’ preferences in selecting golf courses, their perceptions about the prices of products being sold at the golf courses, and to analyze the differences in price perceptions among different groups of golfers such as avid golfers, core golfers, and casual golfers. A questionnaire was developed based on literature available in the golf industry and reviewed by an expert panel. The findings show that there were no significant differences among golfers using municipal golf courses about price perceptions being sold at the pro shop including green fees, cart rentals, golf equipment, etc. Golfers perceived green fees as “reasonable” but the results of this research suggest that golf course authorities should keep green fees competitive, and find other innovative ways to manage their course assets to increase participation in the future.
Kim, Yongseek; Young, Margaret A.; Kil Shin, Han; and Kim, Chayong
"Price Perceptions in the Selection of Golf Courses: A Case Study of Municipal Golf Courses in the City of Albuquerque,"
Journal of Tourism Insights:
1, Article 8.
Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.9707/2328-0824.1007
Available at: http://scholarworks.gvsu.edu/jti/vol1/iss1/8