By Rick Ladendorf
LA Fitness in Aliso Viejo, CA recently converted two racquetball courts to four simulator hitting bays and is set to poach golf related revenues from the club industry.
Members can take lessons or bring their friends and play their favorite course indoors in a fraction of the time it takes to play a round of golf. As an added value, local restaurants deliver food and adult beverages to the players for a truly exceptional experience.
Ultimate HD Golf has plans to roll this concept out nationwide with technologies not currently available in most private clubs. A real shame, as most golfers would love to pay an additional fee to have MySwing, a full-body 3D system and Trackman, a Launch Monitor technology at the club. According to the International Health, Racquet and Sports Association (IHRSA) there are 52 million people that workout regularly in a gym or fitness center and LA Fitness, a big-box health club chain is testing a concept that may take business away from the private club industry, one member and one swing at a time. So, what can the private club industry do to keep the golf enthusiast members “inside the gates”?
- Find a space and buy a simulator, Trackman and MySwing.
- Place a Trackman on the driving range and offer lessons.
- Partner with a local health club and provide golf instructors and technology in exchange for shared revenues and members.
The line between fitness and golf is blurring and if it’s a trend, private clubs without fitness facilities will likely see a decline in revenues, usage and possibly retention.