Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Rebranding? If substantial, don't be ashamed

Design variety is important to architects. We’re always bending someone’s ear about how each of the 18 holes at a particular course are different (how we couldn’t possibly choose a favorite because they’re all so distinct!). But seriously folks, design variety should matter more to operators, especially those who manage multiple layouts.

Here’s an example from Kenosha, Wisconsin, where we will redesign/reconfigure 63 holes owned and operated by Kenosha County. Phase 1 is scheduled to break ground this spring.

When we got right down to it, the major design issue at 45-hole Brighton Dale Links was a lack of distinction between any of the five 9-hole routings there, plus the lack of a worthy practice area. Honestly: Why play there more than once or twice, why have so many holes on offer if all 45 are the same? That was the problem: Not enough people did. Our plan improves all 45 holes but creates new, higher levels of quality and challenge on 18 holes, while improving but essentially maintaining the character of 27 holes for those who liked them just the way they were.

Here design is a vital part of your marketing, in that it answers these questions: What does your course say to the golfers who play it? What does it say to the golfers who could play it, but don’t?