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September 2019

Final Thoughts with David Frem

David Frem
GENERAL MANAGER
Cyprian Keyes Golf Club
Boylston, Massachusetts

As a daily fee golf course, what incentives do you provide to keep players coming back regularly?

Discounting is dangerous; customers become loyal to the discount. We focus on making the overall experience so good that customers can’t wait to come back.

Have you seen any changes in the demographics of your players in recent year or is it still traditional?

Our golfer demographic has stayed consistent over the years. We continue to have a larger percentage of women and juniors than the average golf course.

With a 9-hole, Par 3 option, do you see that becoming more popular as people consider the time commitment to play?
 
Shorter playing time is a factor, but we are seeing an increase in play due to the less intimidating, stress-free, fun golfing experience it provides.

Have you instituted any “gamification” or entertainment options at your facility?
 
We have not except in our Cyprian Fitting Center, which has a TrackMan system, which provides golfers great data on their swing.

You have meeting and event space available at your facility. How important is that to your revenue overall?
 
Extremely important. Food and beverage, which also includes our restaurant and on-course options, make up over 45 percent of our overall revenue. Events alone make up over 30 percent.

What is the most popular event you host at the golf course?
 
One single event doesn’t stand out, except perhaps our Club Championship. Between all the divisions, we have over 100 golfers participate each year.

What is the biggest risk you’ve taken at the golf course in recent years?
 
We recently lowered the price of our base membership by over 60 percent with the goal to increase activity on the course and in the clubhouse. This is, by far, the biggest risk we have taken in order to reinvigorate the golf side of Cyprian Keyes.

What do you see as the most important issue facing golf course owners/operators today?
 
One issue I think about constantly is the conflict between the pressure to not raise prices while the cost to operate Cyprian continues to rise.

 

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