The 90s and early 2000s were the boom years of golf when courses were being built constantly around the nation. When the number of golfers leveled off that left a lot of courses competing for golfers.
"You don’t have to be a Harvard Business School grad to figure out the economics of declining rounds and increasing number of courses," says Duncan Geddes the Rockford Park District Director of Golf.
So golf courses are competing for golfers. The Rockford Park District is responding.
"We need to improve our customer service," says Geddes. "We need to improve our course conditions, and we need to get some players back."
So this year the Park District has added managers who double as pros at each of the Park District’s 18 hole courses.
And the District is discouraging walkup golfers and encouraging everyone to book a tee time.
"In the past every other time we allowed for players to walk up, and we’ve decided to make all the times reservable," says Geddes. "In the past we had walkup times that didn’t get used or we had players that would show up and have a long wait."
Walkups are still permitted, but they’re discouraged. The Park District is also trying to drive golfers to sign up for non-peak hours by offering discounted rates for those times on line.
Pre-registration will also be required for all of the Park District’s major golf tournaments. No more walkups there.
"We’re trying to run professional events. It makes it difficult when you don’t know how big the field is," says Geddes.
Geddes also says more emphasis will be placed in coming years on growing more young golfers by adding more instructors and more junior golf programs.
"We’re looking to do what’s best for the taxpayers of the Park District as a whole, and we feel we’ve got to make some changes to keep up with the golf industry," says Geddes.
For more information on the Rockford Park District's tee time policy or to reserve a tee time go to www.golfrockford.org.