Superintendent Magazine’s fourth annual Super Survey was distributed to about 400 golf course superintendents and asked them questions about the profession, from the state of the economy to the personal challenges they face every day on the job.
The economy has been brutal during the last couple of years, so a major part of the survey asked about the state of the economy in the golf industry.
Do you think the golf industry is improving?
17% – Yes, the industry is getting better.
49% – Maybe, there are signs the industry is improving.
34% – No, the golf industry is still down.
THE SPIN — Take this message the way you want to. Compared to last year’s survey, more superintendents are gaining confidence in the golf economy, but more superintendents also believe the golf economy is still in the dumps. Six percent more superintendents believe the golf economy is on the rebound when compared to last year’s survey (11 percent), and 7 percent more believe the industry is still down when compared to last year (34 percent). The majority of voters — this year and last — believe there are signs the golf industry is improving.
Do you think you are fairly compensated?
4% – Yes, I never dreamed I’d make this much money.
36% – No, I don’t make enough for the time I put in.
60% – My pay is fair, and I have no complaints.
Wow, 36 percent of superintendents feel underpaid. That’s alarming. Will they look for greener pastures elsewhere?
What were rounds and revenue like at your course in 2014?
30% – Rounds and revenue were down.
32% – Rounds were up, but revenues were flat or down.
38% – Rounds and revenue were up. We had a good year.
THE SPIN — Last year about 27 percent of superintendents reported that rounds and revenue were down in 2013 when compared to 2012. The year before that, only 11 percent of superintendents said rounds and revenue were down in 2012 when compared to 2011. This year, 30 percent of superintendents reported that rounds and revenue were down in 2014. Remember that weather has a huge impact on rounds and revenue. But how much?
42.5%- No Chance
12% — Yes
THE SPIN — The golf industry was in its glory days in the late 1990s and early 2000s, with courses going up like Starbucks. Little did we know that the industry was being overbuilt and the chicken would soon come home to roost. It’s no surprise that 42.5 percent of superintendents believe there’s “no chance” of returning to the glory days. But is it a surprise that so many superintendents believe there is a chance?