What service do you expect when you visit a Golf Course?
Are you one of these people who are only really there to play Golf and any extras that you receive are a bonus on the Golfing day?
Living here in the UAE the excellent all round service you receive at the majority of the Golf courses is a key ingredient to the all round “Golfing experience”. In some cases, the surroundings and treatment that is given on your Golfing day is like your visiting one of the many 5 star hotels here.
This experience does add to cost, but should it? Can you blame any business trying to re-coup money passing the costs on to the consumer? Price and luxury varies all over the world in Golf but is not just attached to the UAE. The cost of playing Golf in the Algarve has risen. I know of some stunning Golf courses in Thailand for example that are at a much lower cost and the service is still right up there, so is it a balance?
Courses in this region especially, have huge overheads being in the desert and in some cases in the past have only looked to attract a certain type of clientele with prices reflecting that.
A few years ago this was common practice but with the opening of new stunning Golf Courses in the UAE and the economic climate, the Tee Time prices have dropped with Courses finding it harder to attract members. Memberships have fluctuated with people hopping from club to club looking for a better bargains. Add the arrival of many different ‘bogof’ (buy one get one free) type of deals and a seemingly big transition of expats Golfers over the past couple of years and you can see why things have changed.
Lessons need to be learned from the past and integrated into the present and the future, along with new approaches. If Golf Courses in this region are to continue increasing revenue and F+B trends (according to the recent KPMG studies are booming for a specific golf cluster) they need to adapt.
Playing Golf in the UAE is still not inexpensive, but look around and you will find some good deals, especially in the summer months. Many of the courses are offering packages through the summer for Golf and the service you receive does not change just because you are getting a discounted deal! If you can take advantage of any of these offers you can play most of the courses at great value. Just make sure you play in a sensible way following any instructions on how to play in the heat.
Does the term Business is Business still count in Golf? I think it does these days when the whole landscape of the world has changed and Golf has not escaped this… I wonder if football in the UK will take note!
UAE Golf Online Editor – Paul