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    I am delighted that driving ranges are finally getting their day to shine. A hidden gem in golf operations, the driving range has long been under-valued as a profit center.Read More


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May 2024

A Range of Emotions

I am delighted that driving ranges are finally getting their day to shine. A hidden gem in golf operations, the driving range has long been under-valued as a profit center. Now, between the advancement in range technology and the growing popularity of off-course entertainment centers across North America, golf course owners and operators are moving quickly to get in on the action.

The National Golf Foundation reports that the number of total US off-course golf participants (32.9 million) surpassed total on-course golf participants (26.6 million) in 2023. Driving range participation is included in these “off-course” participation numbers. What’s exciting for ranges at green grass facilities is the exposure to a new consumer base who may just be looking for a ‘buckets and brews’ experience, as well as the opportunity to deliver a more technology infused experience for the avid golfer honing their skills –– at a premium price.

Whether operators can convert these casual hackers into frequent on-course participants remains to be seen. In the meantime, an operator can increase foot traffic, increase food and beverage sales, increase the number of balls hit –– all at a premium.

During Golf Business Conference 2024 earlier this year in Orlando, we shuttled nearly 60 conference attendees to a pre-conference event at Orange Lake Resort, the Legends Course, an NGCOA Member managed by GreatLife Golf. And in this issue, you will see a member spotlight article on one of our newest NGCOA members, Blue Jeans Golf. Having just opened their third location, BJG is creating a memorable range experience that green grass operators can extrapolate some inspiration from. Beyond their facilities and amenities, one would be mistaken to overlook their marketing strategy, which includes a cult-like following on social media channels such as Instagram and Facebook. Check it out, it’s a great read!

Sharing and learning from one another is one of the greatest benefits of belonging to the NGCOA community. I’m pleased to share that in in the first two months of 2024, we have already welcomed dozens of new members, including: Greystone Mountain Golf, Heart River Golf Course/Dickinson Parks & Recreation, Chippewa Golf Club, Pleasant View Golf Course, Bluff Creek Golf Course, Colonial Hills Golf Club, Marcus Point Golf Club, MMI Hotel Group, Kings Ridge, Saratoga National Golf Club, The Fox Hill Club, Pine Springs Golf Club, University of NM Golf Course, BSL Golf Corporation and Blue Jeans Golf –– just to name a few.

We have had such great momentum since launching our membership growth vision at #GBC24 in January to represent 5,000 courses over the next 5 years. Helping us to realize this vision are our NGCOA Member Ambassadors including Randall Anderson, Melanie Boese, Tom Brooks, Caleb Burgard, Whitney Crouse, Todd Flodman, David Frem, Cathy Harbin, Rock Lucas, Whitey O'Malley, Cheryl Pardue, Constant Poholek, Gaylord Schapp, Jim Szilagyi, and Sandra Weckerly –– also just to name a few.

If you know someone who should be a member of the NGCOA, please invite them to join. If you would like to participate as an Ambassador please email me at Your membership team is here to connect you and to support you in your golf business.


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