The grass growing season is on it’s way and maintenance practices are ramping up. We’ve spent the past month repairing the last of the damage from Hurricane Sandy. Notice the leveling, seeding and smoothing of turf between the 3rd and 10th holes where several Red Pines were uprooted.
Mark Coulter, acoustic folk guitarist, appears Saturday, March 16th and the Tri State Rockers make their first appearance at the Grill Room on Saturday, March 23rd. John G on sax finishes up on Friday, March 15th. Enjoy the last of winter & shorter days in our cozy atmosphere.
Spring doesn’t arrive until March 21st and it’s looking like the golf season won’t start any sooner. Colder weather is predicted for this weekend and our most recent storm left us with quite a bit of rain. That said, the crew has been out raking and clearing the course of winter’s debris for the last two weeks and it will be ready to go as soon as weather permits. During January & February, much work went on removing trees and stumps taken down by Storm Sandy.
Mickey Freeman will make her third appearance this Friday night singing jazz vocals accompanied on keyboard and bass. As a bonus, Mickey has enticed esteemed musicians Rio Clemente and Mitch Schecter to join her occasionally along with her band, Regan Ryzuk & Tim Metz. Rock trio The Flying Obersons are outstanding, can’t say enough about Rick, Tony and Frosty and solo guitarist Scott Kelly is ever popular. Folk acoustic guitarist Mark Coulter appears on February 16th and John G on sax will be back for several Fridays. Schedule here In the meantime, the Grill Room kitchen under new leadership has some new tricks up it’s sleeve.
Visit our Facebook page to see who’s performing and what the new bar looks like. Then join us for dinner in our cozy atmosphere on a long winter’s night. The lights are on in the woods!
At the Grill Room, we are surrounded by dust & debris as we are in the midst of our planned bar renovation. The re-opening is scheduled for January 4th when our winter live music season returns. A new bar with all new equipment means the beer will be colder than ever thanks to the latest in beer tap technology, while the wine stays even tempered in a new cooler. The liquor bottles will twinkle as they are displayed on glass shelves under lights and the new POS will run smoothly. The decor is still rustic, but now refreshed. The wood finish is cherry and alder, the counter top stone. The menu is still casual but planned for update.
Cards can be used for green fees and pro shop merchandise. Our special offer before Christmas includes a $50 bonus on a $200 card, $25 bonus on a $150 card. Lesser amounts may also be purchased. Call the pro shop 973.697.8688 to purchase.
Join now and receive a Grill Room gift card to be used through out the season for lunch or dinner.
Call Thom or Wil @ 973.697.8688
You’re into golf and plan to play more than casually… we’ve got a plan for you
Full Club Membership: play seven days/week without paying a green fee. 20 electric cart fees included.
Individual $ 4915.10 / Couple $ 8210.70
Weekday & Weekend PM Golf Membership: play Mon thru Fri and Sat/Sun after 2p without paying a green fee. 20 electric cart fees included.
Individual $ 2975.10 / Couple $ 4950.70
Associate Golf Membership: receive reduced green fees for all periods and included carts for the season. Advance tee times available
Individual $ 960.86
The Golf Membership; receive reduced green fees at Associate rate except Sat/Sun mornings
Individual $ 210.60
First of all, our hearts go out to all who suffered lasting damage due to unprecedented Hurricane Sandy. Bowling Green survived relatively unscathed. As would be expected, we can report that many, many tall Red Pines and Spruce were felled; however, our overall signature look of narrow, pine tree lined fairways still stands and we had no flooding. We lost no specimen trees so your usual strategic placement of shots remains in effect! Our maintenance crew spent the immediate aftermath of the storm cutting up trees and clearing debris for several days. By Saturday after the storm, we were open for golf with no power in the building. Two weeks after the storm, we are back to normal and winding down the golf season with late season rates. May we all be blessed with whatever it is we need as November ends, amen.
Weekend 18 holes am
electric cart included
Weekend 18 holes pm (noon)
Weekday 18 holes am
electric cart included
Weekday 18 holes-pm (noon)
Bowling Green Golf Club Thriving Despite Industry Trends
Semi private golf club poised for growth
Oak Ridge, N.J.— Oct. 9, 2012—At a time when golf courses are closing nationwide, Bowling Green Golf Club in Morris County is finishing its 45th-anniversary season with an increased customer base and greater demand for tee times. Through September, the semi private course increased its rounds by 24.6 percent in 2012 as compared to 2009, and increased its revenue by 18 percent despite downward pressure in pricing.
The Riggs family, Bowling Green’s proprietors, credit their success to looking at the golf industry through fresh eyes in order to update the product as well as the marketing effort. “Golf is a traditional sport,” said Wil Riggs, a third-generation operator. “For years, the philosophy was ‘build it and they will come.’ The recession forced businesses to re-evaluate, and golf courses were no exception.”
The 2008 recession and the years following presented the Riggs family a challenge: increase the customer base while golf courses were starting to close all over the nation.
Golf by the Numbers
Golf is a $24.8 billion industry in the U.S., with 26 million golfers and 15,882 facilities.[i]But it’s also an industry that’s competing for the entertainment dollar when the supply of courses exceeds demand. In addition, golf is an expensive game that is time-consuming; pair that with a harsh economy and a time-crunched society and it’s easy to understand the challenges.
Last year, the number of rounds played in the U.S. dropped to 463 million from 518 million in 2000, according to the National Golf Foundation.[ii]The number of golfers fell as well, from 30 million in 2005 to 25.7 million. Nineteen courses opened in 2011, while more than 150 closed.
The foundation reports that about 2,000 of the nearly 16,000 golf courses open today are “financially distressed.”[iii] David Hueber, former president and CEO of the National Golf Foundation,estimates that 4,000 to 5,000 golf courses will be in financial danger if they don’t change their model.[iv]
Embracing Change—A 21st-Century Approach to Business
In July 2009, Bowling Green Golf Club followed the downward spiral of many of its competitors, hitting the lowest round count in the history of its existence. That was a wake-up call for Bowling Green as well as the industry, and the Riggs family decided to dig in and succeed.
“Bowling Green has been a local destination since the late 1960s,” said Riggs. “Clearly, it was time to rethink our guest experience and revisit our marketing efforts, bringing them into the 21st century, so to speak.”
They started by streamlining operations, refocusing human resources and reinvigorating golf course conditioning. A multi year project to restore the course to its original Geoff Cornish design has included the renovation of all 56 sand bunkers, ongoing selective tree thinning to maintain fairway corridors and a dogwood planting project to reintroduce the trademark flowering trees in their original numbers.
Recognizing that golf is a time-consuming sport, Bowling Green has maintained its commitment to speed of play and the four-hour round; also in keeping with a new P(lay)G(olf)A(merica) initiative, the club has introduced two new playing yardages of 6,000 and 6,400 yards, bringing the choice of tees to seven. “Tee It Forward” encourages golfers to move up to a shorter tee for the experience of friendlier scoring and faster play. Playing the course yardage which matches your ability makes the game more fun.
In 2011 and 2012, Bowling Green turned up the volume on marketing, recognizing that today’s younger customer (and some not so young!) must be reached via the Internet and social media. They launched a Facebook page, starting a conversation with fans, and included some targeted Facebook advertising. They reached out to new customers via sites such as Groupon, Living Social and Golf Now with deals during non-prime periods. In addition, they employed search engine optimization throughout their website to be more visible in online searches.
The Riggs family also started a blog to keep customers and others up to date on Bowling Green news, golf trends and pop culture. As their blog became more sophisticated, they included images and video. Blog topics this season have encompassed a variety of information from golf instructional tips to advice for charities on planning a golf outing.The Mother’s Day and Father’s Day blog posts were lighthearted tributes to moms and dads who play golf. In July, a blog post offered tips on playing golf with children and promoted Bowling Green’s Family Golf Month event.
Bowling Green marked its 45th anniversary in 2012 over Memorial Day weekend and celebrated by giving away 45 free rounds of golf. In keeping with the new focus on Internet marketing, winners were announced on the website, via email and in the blog. With the help of a new logo and updated image, Riggs sees marketing efforts increasing Bowling Green’s visibility in front of current and potential customers. On the operating side, he plans to continue offering what Bowling Green does best — great golf and friendly service.
“We try things,” said Riggs. “We’ll test them, measure the results and then adjust as necessary. We attribute our success to being nimble and willing to adapt to the market. That’s the future of golf.”
About Bowling Green Golf Club
Bowling Green Golf Club is a family-owned, semiprivate golf course located at 53 Schoolhouse Road, Oak Ridge, New Jersey 07438, 973-697-8688,www.bowlinggreengolf.com. It is frequented by North Jersey golfers from Bergen, Passaic, Morris, Sussex and Essex counties,
as well as guests from Manhattan. The Grill Room at Bowling Green is open year-round. Book a tee time, follow our latest news and announcements by subscribing to our newsletter, like us on Facebook, subscribe to our blog and follow us on Twitter.
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[i] Golf:Now and Then, April 28, 2012.
[ii] Business First, Golf operators get creative in ways to lure players as golf takes a hit from economy, busy lifestyles, May 25, 2012.
[iii] Boom and Bust of Golf Course Real Estate Spotlighted, July 20, 2012.
[iv] Fore Sale, Wall Street Journal, July 24, 2012.