Key Performance Indicators for Golf Courses
Key performance indicators, or KPIs, are measurable statistics monitored by a small business owner to evaluate the company’s progress toward its goals. KPIs can measure the effectiveness of a golf course’s marketing strategies and the overall efficiency of the facility’s operations. Golf courses have a number of possible revenue streams. No. 1 is greens fees -- the cost for playing a round of golf on the course. Merchandise sales and food and beverage sales are other important revenue streams.
Revenue per available tee time or available rounds is a critical KPI for all golf courses to track. Just as a hotel has a limited number of rooms, a golf course has a finite number of tee times available each day. They are also perishable. An unsold tee time cannot be sold at a later date. The golf course owner must make certain the revenue from the available tee times is maximized. Monitoring revenue per available tee time on a monthly basis can reveal how effective his marketing efforts are in bringing golfers to the course.
A chronic problem in golf is slow play. The longer it takes to play a round -- particularly having to wait to play every shot -- the less enjoyment the golfer gets from the playing experience. For the course owner, slow play means money out of his pocket because the number of rounds played each day will be below the goal he set. If the owner and his staff see the average length of round is too high, they need to implement action plans to encourage golfers to play more quickly. These steps could include reminding golfers to take fewer practice swings before each shot, and limiting the time spent looking for lost golf balls.
The course owner should track the percentage of golfers who come back to the course after playing it for the first time. Repeat business percentage is a KPI that reveals the overall customer satisfaction the business is achieving. A high repeat business percentage shows that the green fees are priced fairly and competitively. It also indicates that course maintenance is meeting a high standard. Golfers return to courses they judge to be well maintained. Smooth greens and healthy turf grass in the fairways and rough are two components of good maintenance golfers seek.
The number of rounds sold divided by total available rounds yields course utilization -- similar to occupancy percentage in the hotel industry. The course owner should track this KPI by time of day, day of week, and month of the year. Slow days or slow times of the day with few sold rounds require implementing marketing strategies to bring in more people. Before drawing conclusions from analyzing this KPI, the course owner should consider the impact of the weather. If spring arrives particularly late, the number of rounds played in the early weeks of spring will be lower no matter how effectively the owner and his team marketed the facility.
Average merchandise sale per customer, average food and beverage sales per customer, and the percentage of golfers who purchase practice range fees or lessons are KPIs that guide the golf course owner toward his goal of providing the best overall customer experience possible. He might discover, for example, that golfers are interested in improving their skills but were not aware the course had a teaching pro on staff, or thought the lessons would be more expensive than they are.