Case #1: City of Corpus Christi
Usually when you make the front page of the paper, it’s not a good thing. But in the case of the two Corpus Christi, Texas, municipal golf courses that we were able to rescue from decline, the news is all good.
The City of Corpus Christi was losing money on their two municipal courses, Oso Beach Golf Course and the Lozano Golf Center. Both courses were in bad shape — and getting worse. One regular golfer referred to Lozano’s dry, hard packed earth as similar to a cow pasture.
The City general fund (tax payers) ended up subsidizing golf for a small number of constituents – an untenable situation. The City went looking for outside help and found Foresight Golf Management.
We attacked this particular situation with a three-pronged plan:
1. We immediately improved customer service and the customer experience. From being greeted in the parking lot with a golf car, to streamlining the reservation and check-in systems, customers felt like they were attended to as well as appreciated. We focused on our new personnel and coached them to “walk-the-walk” when it comes to customer service. At the end of the day, we win the game by winning one customer at a time, and that one satisfied customer amounts to many rounds of golf with us at our golf courses!
2. Improvement of all the physical facilities – from the Turfgrass to the kitchens to the restrooms, we cleaned up the facilities and improved the food service. This was noticeable right away and set the tone for how the businesses were going to be run.
Of course – the golf course!
The golf is always our top priority. Golf courses are a living entity, so improving them is always an on-going process. Rarely does it occur overnight, in fact, the only thing that happens fast in agriculture, is crop failure! We adhere to a philosophy of continual improvement. We always look for ways to improve the quality and condition of the golf course by accentuating the positive aspects of a property and minimizing or eliminating the negative things that stand in the way of customer enjoyment. Because our customer spends the majority of the time they spend with us on the golf course, improving the quality of golf is how we improve the value our customers receive. It’s been proven time and again that customers will pay more for a better golf course and overall experience.
3. We implemented proper rate structures and streamlined the reservation and check-in process — all without increasing green fee prices.
We moved the courses from losing about a half-million dollars a year to showing a profit IN THE FIRST YEAR – and we did this WITHOUT raising the rates!
"We thought it would be good, but it's been phenomenal.”
- Michael Morris, Parks & Recreation Director
We even made the paper!
The Corpus Christi Caller Times ran a story on the successful improvements we helped bring to these two municipal golf courses. Since Foresight Golf Management took over, the courses are healthy, sustainable and the golfers around the Coastal Bend love that they have two great courses to play. When you make golfers, taxpayers and city leaders happy, you have really made a positive contribution to a community!
The turnaround even continued through the bad weather of 2013. Even though both courses had decreased rounds, they both showed a profit. The courses returned a net operating surplus of $248,819.
Case #2: Plum Creek Development Partners
Taking a golf course from foreclosure to “For Profit” with Foresight!
Plum Creek Golf Course in Kyle, Texas made the “Texas’ Toughest Courses” list. But this distinction usually means it is not a particularly enjoyable course to play. Plum Creek was in a great community, but it had become the guy that yells for you to stay off his lawn!
Foresight Golf Management was approached by the folks of the Plum Creek Development Partners in March, 2010. They had purchased the course in a foreclosure auction because they were responsible for the development of a large part of the community and wanted to see that the golf course became the community hub they had always envisioned it to be! Based on our qualifications and a tour of the other facilities we operate, they invited us to come in and operate the golf course on a “turn-key” basis.
"Shortly after coming on board, we developed an in-house plan to improve both the condition and the playability of the golf course. Starting with improving an irrigation system that had fallen into disrepair, we were able to change the dynamic of how the golf course was watered. We also expanded irrigation and added turf grass to some critical and strategic areas of the golf course. Both of these things made for a much more fun golf course to play."
– Ed Miller, Chief Operating Officer, Partner
“They knew that their expertise didn’t include golf course operations. They listened to us. We offered options. They are a very smart group of guys and did the things that most benefited the property, which subsequently has had a very positive effect on the bottom line.”
- Dan Pedrotti, Jr., President, Partner
Our plans called for a complete irrigation audit; we fixed all of the problems. Also, we widened the playing corridors and fairways; scaled back the native vegetation and planted additional Turfgrass. Long gone are the days that you’d lose a half-dozen golf balls at Plum Creek. The playable areas have been significantly increased and the course is enjoyable for all skill levels.
We analyzed the effectiveness of a third-party tee time marketing relationship that was in place and the results of this analysis got our attention. We immediately stopped letting other businesses sell Plum Creek’s golf and took control of what Plum Creek’s regular rates and discounts were going to be. As a result, we were able to improve the average rate for the golf sold, increase revenue for our clients and still provide an outstanding experience and value for our customers!
Finally, we re-configured and constructed a new set of tees, going from four to five sets. The front set of tees enabled the course to play at 4,700 yards, making for more enjoyable golf for lady and junior golfers, as well as our senior players.
When the original practice range, which was far from a great venue but was prime real estate, was repurposed to a beautiful apartment complex , it created an opportunity to move and construct a new “state of the art’ practice facility and short game area. While this was in the planning stages, we were approached by Texas State University with the idea of partnering with them on a training facility for their college golf teams and becoming the home golf course of the Texas State Bobcats. Our clients recognized the value of this relationship and premium space was incorporated into the plan and practice facility development for Texas State. Today, Plum Creek boasts a state-of-the-art practice facility, with short-game area, chipping greens, and bunkers – the whole nine yards! And Texas State University, now a NCAA Division I Golf Team, has a facility that not only gives them a great venue to practice and hone their skills, but also aids in the recruitment of top collegiate talent for the Texas State golf program. This upgrade has been good for golf, good for our customers, good for Texas State AND good for business!
“Our clients recognized that the golf course should be a recreational hub of the Plum Creek community. It’s a great property in a great community. There’s no telling where this golf course can go in the future.”
- Ed Miller, Chief Operating Officer, Partner
Interestingly enough, the course had more competition before the upgrades. But now it’s seen as “the place” to golf in the area! As we were making improvements and enhancing the whole golf experience, we were able to gradually increase the rates while at the same time grow the number of rounds played. This is truly a Win/Win for all concerned!
“The turnaround of the business was almost immediate. The team at Foresight Golf Management helped us in making the best decisions for improving the golf course and getting the business where it needed to be. Their ability to understand what the customer wants and to be able to make changes and do a lot of the work with their own team and expertise brought a lot of value to our relationship. We have had a great experience in golf course ownership by working with Foresight Golf.”
- David Mahn, Plum Creek Development Partners
Ready to see how Foresight Golf Management can turn around your operation? Click Here to contact us online or call (830) 249-7528.
Case #3: Our “Play Better Golf” & “Learn to Play Golf” Programs
Get ‘em hooked on golf, then get ‘em hooked on your course.
Everyone’s happy, everyone wins! It’s not easy to get new golfers into the game, especially adults. But it’s a fact: the better you play, the more frequently you play.
It’s rare to get adults to take up the game — but NOT impossible! Since the intimidation factor is one of the most-frequent reasons we hear (along with people not wanting to look stupid!) we try to reduce the negatives with learning and playing the game. With both of these programs, we strive to de-mystify the game of golf. We take the intimidation out of golf instruction and taking up the game of golf. All of our Golf Instructors know that the game is meant to be fun, so instruction should be too!
People feel far more comfortable coming out in groups of people they already know (work, friends, church, etc.) to learn – this is a built-in scenario of people who already have a common interest. Now we add golf to their list of common interests!
Play Better Golf was developed to modify the way golf instruction is given at green-grass facilities. We provide high-quality golf instruction very inexpensively. People ask, ‘What’s the catch?’ The catch is - we want you to play better so you play more. When you play more the course operator (you!) benefits. It’s a win/win!
We’ve also found that lowering the cost of golf instruction encourages people to take enough lessons to actually improve their game. Think about it: if you wanted to learn to play the piano, would you only take a series of just a few lessons? Not if you wanted to play anything other than “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star!”
Learn to Play Golf dovetails with Play Better Golf and is our new player outreach. We do a 10-session golf instruction lesson plan catered to folks who have never played golf before – Just an hour a week for ten weeks.
We begin by taking them out, following a couple “regular guys” as they play on the course. We show them that golf is relaxing and fun and different from what they’ve seen on television. We cover golf vocabulary, etiquette, how to make a tee time, how to practice, and where everything is located. We’ve found that this orientation is crucial in breaking down the intimidation factor.
We then teach the most uncomplicated of golf strokes – the putt. Next we go to chipping and pitching.
After the short game has been learned we move onto the full-swing with our irons, fairway woods and finally the driver.
Each session builds on solid, fundamental golf skills culminating with our students actually being able to play golf! The students’ “final” session is taking it to the course playing in 2-person scrambles. We follow-up with small events for the graduate students to keep them coming out and continuing to improve while enjoying the game they have successfully learned to play.
We’ve had some of our students go out and play with long-time golfers and not only keep up - but win! Creating new (and very loyal!) customers is possible – and great for your business!
Both of these programs are up and running — and successful — at several Foresight Golf courses.
Accolades & Testimonials
These are always nice to hear, but it's only the beginning for Foresight Golf Management.
When you boil it all down, we here at Foresight Golf Management are in the entertainment and service businesses - unkind mistresses, both. We (and ostensibly you, when you work with us) are only as good as that last patron driving down the highway after a day on the links. While we appreciate kind words, good reviews and positive word-of-mouth, we will never rest on our laurels. The business moves too fast, changes too quickly to think that yesterday’s way is always going to be right tomorrow.
So, we sincerely thank every client, every golfer who has found the Foresight Golf way of doing things to their liking. And we look forward to winning your business again!
Foresight has taken the golfing experience at Plum Creek to a new level:
“I wanted to take a moment to let you know how much my wife, Terry, and I enjoy the golfing experience at Plum Creek Golf Course. We’ve played Plum Creek many times, both before and after Foresight Golf has managed the property. I can tell you from those experiences that the difference is like night and day. From arrival in the parking lot where you are greeted by very helpful people who assist with loading your clubs on a car, to the check-in at the Golf Shop, where trained professionals assist in a very friendly and extremely helpful manner with anything that is needed to have an enjoyable round — to the excellent maintenance of the course, demonstrated dramatically by green fairways and greens even in drought type conditions. Plum Creek consistently exceeds expectations. In short, this is a premier course, and is an unbelievable value in the Austin area. I want to compliment you and your staff at Plum Creek, as well as the fine management of Foresight Golf, for making such a fine golfing experience available at such a modest cost. Best wishes for continued success.”
- Theodore Comstock
The Regional Boys and Girls Golf Tournaments sincerely thank the folks at Gabe Lozano and Oso Beach Golf Courses:
“I’ve been directly involved with these tournaments for the last 12 years. I was extremely impressed with how different the golf courses looked and played, and how professionally the tournaments were run. The head pros and all the assistants at both courses were typical Foresight employees: friendly, professional, and very Junior golf-friendly. I’ve played at all of the Foresight courses in the San Antonio area, and they are by far the best! Not only the employees, but the courses themselves are second to none. I tell you that, to say this: The move to Foresight management is a win-win for Corpus Christi golfers. The two golf courses did not even look like the same golf courses we played just last year. Kino Rios did another outstanding job running the tournament, but his job was surely made easier by the conditions of the golf courses and the very helpful staff that he worked with at both courses. I just wanted to express my opinion about a FIRST CLASS organization that has taken those two courses and made them very competitive courses with other options in the Coastal Bend. We hope to be back again next year.”
- Kyle Andrews
“There have been some outstanding Caller-Times articles written of late starting with the elation shown by the mayor and city council about the necessary changes proposed by Ron Olson, new city manager. The new "set of eyes" immediately noted deficiencies in many city departments but he could not find fault with our two municipal golf courses. The city owned up to the fact that they knew nothing about running golf courses so they sought out the professionals - Foresight Golf. Cefe Valenzuela wrote a recent letter to the editor praising Foresight Golf and Head Golf Professional, Peter Palacios, for going above and beyond in assisting the Pan American Golf Association in one of their children’s programs. The July 6 Caller-Times front page story was very informative and hopefully stirred up interest in this wonderful sport. It seems that our two courses, Oso Beach and Lozano Golf Center, are going to become profitable. Indeed, it’s hard for me to believe that this turnaround developed overnight. I suggest to our Council to become proactive and learn from the pros. The bottom line is that we can be proud of our two golf courses and there is no reason to make expensive out-of-town travel. As far as financial losses due to retail sales, if golfers do not show up, sales cannot improve. The improvement is in the management and as far as the number of rounds played in years past, that number is somewhat bogus as some golfers did not pay the green fees and some retired city employees played free because it was in their contract. Thanks, Mayor and City Council, for getting this one right!”
- Ruben Garza