Neil Dainton Golf
Golf Business Consultancytelephone: 07702 242036
Past Projects

Blue Mountain Golf Centre
Opportunity: To take a short term lease on the golf course at Blue Mountain Golf Centre in Bracknell with a longer term lease on the driving range.

Background: Blue Mountain Golf Centre opened in 1993 with an 18 hole golf course, a 33 bay floodlit driving range and a clubhouse with a large conference and banquet facility. The business has been leased to an operating company since 1996, which were given notice in April 2014. The landlords are applying for planning permission on part of the course for a school and houses, which, if successful will mean the golf course will close in spring 2016.

Neil Dainton Golf Consultancy Ltd took on the leases from April 2015. With the clubhouse closed, the operation based itself at the driving range with an aim to keep things simple and cost effective..

Method: With the product and general business having been run down by the previous operators, first task was to bring the range and golf course back up to a presentable and acceptable state. The maintenance of the golf course was contracted out to Martin Guy Developments Ltd who currently maintain a number of golf courses under contract. With their considerable experience they quickly put some processes and procedures in place with the green-keeping team on site, and the course started to take shape. After some long days cleaning and tidying the range and organising an office, things took shape here as well and we were ready and happy to start promoting the business and welcoming customers.

It was now all about pricing the product at a good market rate, offering great service, building a database and the confidence of the customers. Through the club captain we worked with a small group of players, giving them the opportunity to continue to play competitions and pay a fee that gave them 7 day access of the golf course at a competitive rate. Data collection was key and we quickly collected a good number of names and email addresses to market to. Contact was made with all local press, parish councils and any other local group that could help spread the word that Blue Mountain was open for business.

After two weeks, having chased almost daily, we finally had phone lines and broadband and so with David and Carol Standing of Accordant Partners we launched our Facebook campaign to drive more customers to Blue Mountain. .

Result: At point in time 13th May 2015, I cannot write about the result! But we are getting busier and the Facebook campaign starts this week, so this will be updated in due course.

Oakland Park
Task: To quickly put a manager in place at Oakland Park due to the current manager leaving. Support the current structure, which was due to have a medium term absence and continue the owner’s ethos for the business and make any changes that would enhance the business.

Background: Oakland Park is an extremely friendly club with cira 600 members. The course is quite short and flat and therefore suits the older golfer and particularly ladies. Course condition is very good and it is well used by its members, but does take societies, some visitors and member guests. Secondary spend in the clubhouse is primarily driven by the golfers, with some functions that are again primarily member events.

The business was making an operational profit of approximately 10%
The current owner had an appetite to sell at the appropriate price.

Method: Neil Dainton Golf put David Cudmore in place as the manager and set out some short and medium term goals for the business. We carried out a review of the business from a financial, operational and systems and procedures view. Having collated all this information we produced our findings and recommendations for the business, taking into account the requirements of the owner.

We laid out a plan covering changes to the sales process to drive more membership sales and looked to augment this with more society sales at times that were not used by the members. At the same time we increased visitor fees to add value the membership. By increasing rounds of golf played through the above there was also an immediate effect on the secondary spends in the clubhouse.

Flow through to the operational profit was not as immediate, we therefore engaged Material Matters to review all of the clubs purchasing and renegotiated contacts with most suppliers. The food and beverage margin then ran at 70% for both areas. Staff costs were however still running high in this department, but by working with the staff, helping them see that it is possible to work differently, and being open to change we managed to bring this into line.
Medium term goals were agreed around capital projects and staff remuneration as the business became more profitable. Operational profit was now at 20% on an increased turnover.
The time was now right to openly take the club to the market and Neil Dainton Golf were very much involved in the due diligence process enabling a smooth transition to the new owners.

Result: The business has been sold to new owners.

Material Matters
Task: To help grow a new business in the golf market. Adding new customers, new suppliers and new opportunities to grow revenues.

Background: Material Matters is a procurement company that specialise in supplying golf clubs. The business started in 2010 supplying just golf course supplies. We now supply in all areas of golf club purchasing; Golf Course, Retail, Clubhouse, Administration and Contracts. We now deal with approximately 400 clubs and the current spend of golf clubs purchasing through Material Matters is circa £10m.

Method: Once Neil Dainton Golf gained an understanding of the business, its products and processes we presented a sales strategy to achieve the task. We then used a combination of industry contacts both operating golf clubs and in the supply side of the business to grow both. Purchasing reviews were arranged at clubs to enable Material Matters to present a comprehensive report that highlighted the areas in which we could add value and make savings for the club. It was vital to show that these were savings and not cost cuts to engage with the member of staff at the club that actually did the day to day purchasing and therefore building the trust and relationship with each club and their staff has been paramount. Having shown that there are savings to be made, proved that the quality of supply or service is equal or better and therefore gained that trust we have subsequently built and grown the areas of supply at the clubs.

Result: Neil Dainton Golf continues to work with Material Matters and is a shareholder of the business. The business now works with over 400 clubs and supplies in all areas except people!
The business grows from strength to strength with the partnership of Foremost Golf and is currently looking at other avenues to help golf clubs become more successful.



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