Sunday, November 6, 2016

The Week That Was, november 6, 2016

     Regarding Michael Jordan’s super-exclusive, “celebrity-laden” golf club in Hobe Sound, Florida: Two new bits of information, both of them noteworthy, were reported this week. For starters, the venue will take shape upon a former orange grove, and hence its name: Grove Golf Club. More importantly, though, the Palm Beach Post and other sources say that Jordan is working with Bob Whitley, who’s developed a string of high-profile, high-end clubs. There’s one in South Carolina (Colleton River Plantation in Bluffton) and another in Georgia (Currahee Club in Toccoa) as well as four in Florida: Old Marsh Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Ritz-Carlton Golf Club & Spa in Jupiter (now known as Trump National Golf Club Jupiter), Bear’s Club in Jupiter, and Medalist Club in Hobe Sound. Jordan owns a home at Bear’s Club and is a member at both Bear’s Club and Medalist. He may be undertaking the venture for all the wrong reasons, but it appears that he’s at least surrounding himself with experienced people.

     A press release issued last week says that European Tour Properties has this year affiliated itself with more six golf venues, which means that somewhere along the line I neglected to mention two of the new additions. My bad. The first one I overlooked is Constance Belle Mare Plage, which sounds like a wealthy matron who lives on the Main Line in Philadelphia or maybe a fast-spreading disease but is actually a five-star resort on Mauritius. The property has two 18-hole golf courses, both of which were co-designed by Rodney Wright and Peter Alliss, and it hosts the European Senior Tour’s season-ending championship. I also missed on Marco Simone Golf & Country Club, the venue in suburban Rome, Italy that will host the Ryder Cup competition in 2022. Marco Simone features a 27-hole complex designed by Jim Fazio that’s currently being refreshed by European Golf Design. If you’re keeping score, the other additions to ETP’s portfolio this year were Lighthouse Golf & Spa Resort in Bulgaria, Albatross Golf Resort in the Czech Republic, and two in Portugal, Bom Sucesso and Tróia Golf Resort. All told, ETP now has 22 properties in what it calls an “exclusive network of world-class venues.” Of course, simple logic suggests that the group gets less exclusive with each addition.

     “Landmark” anti-graft legislation is adding to the woes of South Korea’s golf industry. The Improper Solicitation & Graft Law, which took effect in late September, prohibits people who work for public institutions, private educational institutions, and the media from giving or receiving meals worth $27 or more, presents worth $44 or more, and monetary gifts worth $88 or more. The ban includes rounds of golf, and the nation’s golf courses as well as its popular indoor golf venues are already said to be losing players as a result. What’s more, the law’s long-term consequences may be significant, because the Korea Herald says that “offering to organize a round of golf during the weekend has long been considered a show of respect and importance to the counterparts in business transactions, particularly among high-ranking public servants, politicians, or even journalists.” It’s worth noting that South Korea’s golf courses have been experiencing a “decline in customers, which has hurt their finances” for years. But you know how it goes: When it rains, it pours.

     Though he no longer plays a day-to-day role in the golf business, Deane Beman has a good reason to attend next February’s Golf Industry Show: He’s 2017’s winner of the Don A. Rossi Award, the highest honor that the Golf Course Builders Association of America can bestow. Beman is in good company, as previous winners of the Rossi award include Robert Trent Jones, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Brent Wadsworth, Pete Dye, and Rees Jones. Beman won four events a professional golfer, but he had the most impact on our business between 1974 and 1994, when he served as the PGA Tour’s second commissioner. While in office, he created the Players Championship, the Presidents Cup, the Senior PGA Tour (now the Champions Tour), and the Ben Hogan Tour (now the Web.com Tour), and he hatched the idea for Tournament Players Clubs. Beman has been on quite a run of late, because last year he received the PGA Distinguished Service Award, the PGA of America’s highest honor.

No comments:

Post a Comment