The Indianapolis Market

April 14, 2009

Comprehensive overview of the golf market in Indianapolis, courtesy of this story in the Indianapolis Business Journal. It even has a little nugget of good news:

"Officials at Brickyard Crossing Golf Resort at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway said more than 700 rounds of golf were played there this March. That compares to 29 during the same month a year ago."

By my rough calculations, that's an increase of more than 2,400 percent. I'm going to go out on a limb and say the weather in Indianapolis in March 2009 must have been a lot more seasonable than it was in March 2008. Still, an increase is an increase.

Overall, however, the message is much more familiar: uncertainty. Golf course operators in Indianapolis say they face a challenging economic market, and are trying all sorts of incentives (lowering green fees at public facilities, clearing out waiting lists at private ones, and, in general, dealing with a market saturated and overbuilt during the 1990s boom) to keep business moving.Â

In short, the Indianapolis golf market sounds like most other U.S. golf markets these days. With this one particular problem I hadn't heard before:

"There are far fewer shift workers at places like the automotive plants," said Don Essig, who works for a company that manages four courses in the area. "That has killed weekday play. The people that used to fill those tee times are simply gone."

-- G.R.