Our company, GGRW Inc., has been producing results in the golf industry for more than 20 years. Today, we publish the world’s leading trade magazine in golf, PGA Magazine; the country’s leading regional golf publication, The Met Golfer; and golf’s leading trade website, PGAmagazine.com. Our PGA Best Practice e-mails are opened by over 10,000 trade recipients every week.
We annually manage four national trade conferences, over 30 regional conferences and co-own and co-manage the world’s largest professional equipment expo, Demo Day at the PGA Merchandise Show. We publish digital magazines and consumer and trade print publications.
When we purchased the assets of the Golf Range Association from founder Steve di Costanzo in 2011, we committed ourselves to helping lift the GRAA to the next level. So from today forward, the new GRAA will be based on certain core principles:
- Golf and golf ranges should be fun. We are in the leisure and entertainment business. We want to learn how the best operators are making it fun for their customers every day and to help to spread the word of their successes.
- The game needs more customers, playing more often, and enjoying it more. Every company with a vested interest in the golf business needs golf ranges to succeed and by ranges I mean all of them. Our mission is to help every range learn new ways to be more successful financially while helping to grow the number of customers.
- To make it happen, we want to reach every range in America: standalone ranges, ranges at public courses, municipal courses, resorts and those at every private golf club.
- The new GRAA is inviting every facility to participate at no membership cost. This means that more than 12,000 facilities will now have open access to all the basic membership benefits.
- In order to be effective, we need frequent communication with the membership. We will be creating digital publications every month. Ten of these issues will be B2B, under the Golf Range Magazine title. Two of them will be digital GRAA magazines created specifically for range users—making it possible for GRAA facilities to send these two publications to every one of their customers at absolutely no cost.
- Best Practice e-mails written by private, public, resort and standalone range managers and teachers will be a key component. We believe that no one knows the business of ranges better than the people who manage them every day.
- Golf instruction is central to ranges. So we are devoted to offering quality B2B and B2C instruction content throughout the year.
- Strong research on trends and performance will be a priority. We are collaborating on research with The PGA, the NGF, and Pellucid. And we anticipate creating regular surveys of the membership across multiple topic areas.
- Face-to-face networking is more important than ever. The GRAA is committed to providing members with opportunities to meet and interact with other range owners, managers and teaching professionals.
- Recognition of the best in the field will be expanded. We want to identify the best in the field and recognize their achievements.
Listening to the People Who Know
We believe that the GRAA will only get stronger as we listen to the experts in the field. So if anyone who works on a golf range has ideas on how to make the GRAA better, we want to hear from them. We want to get to know them. It is what made PGA Magazine successful and it will make the GRAA successful as well.
In November of 2011, the new GRAA executive team met for two days with 12 leading range owners and operators at the PGA Center for Golf Learning and Performance in Port St. Lucie, Florida. The experience was so successful in generating ideas and providing guidance that we have now asked each of those present to continue as members of a GRAA Advisory Board. Their names can be found in the masthead under the Table of Contents.
Reaching out for Future Growth
We are aware that we cannot do it alone. We hope that our previous established relationships with golf industry leaders, including those with thousands of PGA Professionals, manufacturers and media, will help us bring the right parties together to truly maximize the potential. We are thrilled to count The PGA of America in as our first allied association. Their support across a number of areas will be both important and valued. We are strong believers and supporters in The PGA’s long-standing and continuing efforts in helping to grow the game, most recently their expanded efforts in embracing Golf 2.0. We have made this latest investment of time and money based on our belief that the game of golf cannot grow and facilities cannot prosper unless ranges at all types of facilities are more successful.
And in addition to The PGA, Golf 20/20 has also renewed its support of the GRAA by inviting me to sit on the Golf 20/20 Executive Committee and numerous advertisers have renewed their commitment to this Association. We appreciate these early votes of confidence. I know that it will take dedication and hard work over time to achieve our many and varied goals, but I have full confidence in our team and with the help of all of those who have expressed their support so far, I am bullish that the GRAA can help every range be more successful, and have happier customers, in the future.