Looking Long-Term

If courses are to withstand the test of time, they need to embrace change and follow a more sustainable approach

The rugged links at Royal Portrush, a course that has withstood the test of time magnificently

I happened to watch the movie Game Change for the first time recently which covers the events that led to the selection of Sarah Palin as John McCain’s Republican running mate back in the 2008 US presidential election. To a greater extent the movie depicts how she handles herself throughout the campaign. The movie delves into the somewhat bizarre world of American politics - and after watching the film you get a good feel why things are so out of sync in Washington.

The bit of the film that interested me most was how the team grappled with choosing a running mate for McCain and eventually settled on Palin. Barack Obama's popularity was on the rise and McCain and the Republican Party needed someone who would revitalize the base and hopefully limit the decline. Essentially they were looking at it in terms of short-term gain (winning the immediate election) and not which candidate would be best suited for this position long-term.

So why should anyone care about this movie - after all it is Hollywood and how does it relate to golf?

Well on the one side you could make a case for the number of golf courses that have a "Hollywood” look about them, but more so it’s the way in which the McCain team went about deciding on a candidate that struck a nerve and had me thinking about the business of golf.

So much about what we do today is determined by complex sets of figures. Companies spend millions of dollars each year identifying what we the consumer wants. These figures, derived from intense market research, are used to produce action plans and determine a strategy and end product. Most important shareholders and investors want to see immediate results and so the plans need to take this into consideration.


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