In recent weeks, I’ve been enjoying reruns of Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares and Bar Rescue. In those, the hosts descend upon a failing restaurant or bar, and work to straighten them out. The hosts then return after a period of time to see how the changes have worked out.
I think there are the makings of a Golf Channel series here: Golf Course Nightmares. Golf Channel should find a successful, telegenic and cranky golf course manager and an equally competent but eccentric architect and send them into failing golf clubs for a remake. Given the scope of a golf club, one week wouldn’t be enough. But two, perhaps.
In that two week period, the two would scrutinize the course: facilities, service, course design, pace of play, etc. They would then would make what changes they could in that time span.
Imagine the conversations:
GC Architect: See that @%$! tree over there? It’s overhanging the @%$! fairway. I’ve sat here through three @%$! groups and every one of them hit the @%$! tree. That’s no fun, it slows down @%$! pace of play and it will cost you return customers.
Owner: I kind of like that tree. It’s pretty and I think it add something to the hole.
GC Architect: It’s @%$! @#%& . Cut the $*%* thing down, and you’ll speed up the play and make every golfer happier.
Cut to scene of course workers taking chainsaw to tree.
GC Architect: Why are you paying to maintain that @%$! bunker in the fairway? It’s a hundred fifty yards from the tee. It’s not even a threat to my @%$! grandmother.
Owner: Its been there a long time. I think it adds some visual interest.
Cut to scene of course workers filling in bunker.
GC Architect: You’re @%$! mowing the OB grass between every hole. It’s hard as a rock out there. You want to add some @%$! visual interest? Plant some prairie grasses with flowers and let them grow. It’ll keep the moisture in and you’ll spend less on mowing and watering.
Cut to scene of course workers scattering natural flowering grasses seeds.
Then in the clubhouse:
GC Manager: (looking through boxes of ten year old golf balls and shirts that are Vietnamese knockoffs of Filipino knockoffs of Chinese knockoffs of American brands made in China). Do you ever sell any of this @%$! stuff?
Owner and course pro (looking at each other): No, not really. It’s just there in case someone forgets something.
GC Manager: You’re waiting for someone who’s @%$! forgotten something? How about putting something in here that they @%$! want to take away as a memoir of their most fun round of the year? Oh wait. The course is such as mess that no one is going to have that @%$! fun round. Your golf shop should be a revenue generator, not a last resort for @%$! forgetful idiots.
Cut to scene of the pro and his assistant giving away the old balls with every round purchased. Then cut to scene of them placing an order for something for some name brand gear.
Later, as the GC Manager scrutinizes the tee sheets
GC Manager: You have these @%$! tee times set five minutes apart. You’re going to have a traffic jam in the middle of the first fairway.
Owner: But that way I can get more paying players.
GC Manager: And none of them will @%$! come back. What’s your return rate?
Owner: We have a bunch of regulars.
GC: Only because that loyalty card gives them every third round free. How do you make money on that?
I’d watch Golf Course Nightmares. It would have much more drama than The Big Break. Heck, I volunteer to be creative director.