Golf course management companies can take over as much or as little of a course’s operations as an owner wants in order to increase its revenue by attracting new members. The services each company provides can be as simple as human resources and accounting to running the full day-to-day operation and marketing strategy or even upgrading the facilities and amenities offered by each course.
We reviewed over a dozen golf course management companies based on reputation, specialty, buying power, and more to help you choose the right one for your needs.
Best Overall : Troon
Why We Chose It: Troon is the largest golf management company in the world and has been offering end-to-end club management services since 1990.
Offers end-to-end golf course management
Over 30 years of experience
Operates in 45 states and 33 countries
Doesn’t own any courses that it manages
Originally founded in 1990 to provide payroll services to golf course developers, Troon is now the largest golf course management company servicing 585 locations and 630 courses in 45 states and over 30 countries. We chose it as the best overall because of its experience in creating custom management solutions for golf courses of any size.
Troon operates 10 separate brands that specialize in every aspect of golf course management, including club operations, agronomy, food and beverage, membership sales and marketing, daily fee sales and marketing, human resources, procurement, finance and accounting, design and development, risk management, information technology, and legal services.
Troon also has extensive experience in hospitality and food and beverage services for leading resorts, hotels, and single-family residential neighborhoods. The company also offers professional third-party management of homeowners associations (HOAs) and personalized concierge services at select properties as well as golf academies and golf schools to engage golfers of all ages and experience levels with individualized instruction.
In addition to golf course management, Troon also provides expertise and support to racquet sports departments at the resorts it manages to create a unified service experience across the entire facility.
Best for Private Courses : ClubCorp
Why We Chose It: ClubCorp is the industry leader in private club management, managing 146 private golf clubs nationwide which it also owns.
Specializes in working with private clubs
Owns nearly all of its clubs
Over 60 years of experience
Operates in only 27 states
ClubCorp was founded in 1957 in Dallas and has quickly grown to own and manage over 200 private clubs, including country clubs, semi-private and public golf clubs, stadium clubs, and more. It’s our pick as the best for private courses due to its deep industry expertise and heavy investment in managing and acquiring private golf clubs.
ClubCorp specializes in managing privately-owned golf clubs and offers extensive expertise in private clubs and hospitality management. Between 2014 and 2018, the company invested over $500 million in reinvention capital in private clubs to help them fit the changing needs of private club members.
ClubCorp offers professional management and consulting services to owners of private golf clubs with the same technologies, platforms, and resources it uses to manage its properties. The company also taps into a network of preferred vendors that offer discount pricing to help club owners save money on course maintenance, cross-promoting courses, and more.
ClubCorp’s services include club operations, staff training, food and beverage operations, membership sales and marketing, golf course maintenance, member programming, private event sales and marketing, finance and accounting, capital improvement planning, and property and casualty insurance.
Best for Public/Municipal Courses : Indigo Golf Partners
Why We Chose It: Indigo Golf Partners is the leading management company for public and municipal courses offering full or selected course management services.
Largest public course management company
Full or à la carte golf services
Over 30 years of experience
Operates in only 29 states
Indigo Golf Partners was co-founded in 1989 by PGA Tour winner and three-time major champion Billy Casper. It operates more than 130 municipal and daily-fee golf courses in 29 states with a mix of full-service course management and select services making it our top choice as the best for public and municipal courses.
Indigo Golf Partners offers a turnkey golf course management solution based on proprietary systems, tools, and technology built over 30 years. Its full facility management includes operations, agronomy, finance and accounting, food and beverage, human resources, information technology, national partnerships, revenue generation, sales and marketing, and membership growth.
Indigo Golf Partners also lets golf course owners stay hands-on in the daily operations and outsource specific services on an à la carte basis, including operations, agronomy, finance and accounting, food and beverage, and sales and marketing.
Indigo Golf Partners also manages college and university golf courses, resort and destination golf courses, and works with HOAs and communities to increase home values and maintain green space in residential communities. The company can also assist with managing driving ranges, tennis courts, fitness centers, pools, and similar amenities.
Best for Family-Friendly Courses : GreatLIFE
Why We Chose It: GreatLIFE owns and operates golf courses using a unique franchise system that golf, sports, and fitness programs as well as healthy lifestyle education designed to bring families together.
Offers low-cost membership for families
Membership tracking and billing support
Only services 4 midwestern states
Company takes a portion of profits
Founded in 1992, GreatLIFE operates 50 courses in the Midwest with a low-priced membership model that gives members access to a network of fitness facilities. It’s our pick as the best for family-friendly courses because its unique franchise model focuses on sports, fitness, and healthy lifestyles for the whole family.
Following its mission “to enrich the lives of families and individuals through golf, fitness and healthy lifestyles,” GreatLIFE incorporates a business model that offers affordable memberships with unlimited golfing and access to family-friendly sports and fitness amenities and healthy lifestyle education for families.
The company offers franchise opportunities that bring golfing into the modern age by making it a part of family fitness and healthy lifestyle goals. GreatLIFE’s franchise model gives the company a portion of each course’s revenue while giving owners management support, including membership tracking and billing.
Most importantly, GreateLIFE uses a proven franchise model that diversifies revenue by creating tiered membership levels for individuals and families. This creates additional revenue and member engagement by offering additional fitness, nutrition, and sports amenities at each golf club for the whole family.
Best for Customer Service : KemperSports
Why We Chose It: KemperSports is a golf course management company that uses a proprietary, self-developed customer service training program to deliver a consistent level of high-quality customer service.
Proprietary customer service training program
High Net Promoter Score
Over 40 years of experience
Operates in only 22 states
Founded in 1978, KemperSports operates more than 130 courses and facilities including many nationally-ranked courses and tournament venues. The company employs a proprietary customer service training program, making it our choice as the best for customer service.
KemperSports owns, leases, operates, and develops private clubs, municipal golf courses, public golf courses, destination resorts in the U.S. and the Caribbean. Its management services include staff training, purchasing power, cross-marketing, accounting and HR support, health care and insurance, membership marketing and retention, board governance expertise, strategic and long-range planning, and member relations and engagement programming.
KemperSports’ TrueService program uses on-demand, online learning combined with facilitator-led classrooms to bring new employees up to speed with the company’s service culture that has been built up since its inception. Staffers from different departments are brought together and walked through several customer service scenarios to give them the best practices and tools they need to deliver the best customer service experience.
As a result, eight of KemperSports properties received the National Golf Foundation’s Loyalty Awards in 2018 with most facilities boasting a higher Net Promoter Score (a valuable metric of customer experience and business growth) than others in the industry.
Best for Maintenance : Landscapes Unlimited
Why We Chose It: Landscapes Unlimited offers turnkey golf course maintenance services with a national purchasing network to deliver the best-priced fleet equipment and supplies.
Construction, renovation, and irrigation services
Operates in 49 states
Over 40 years of experience
Course employees become Landscapes Unlimited employees
Landscapes Unlimited was founded in 1976 by registered landscape architect Bill Kubly and has completed over 1,800 golf course construction, renovation, and recreational development projects ranging in size from a few thousand dollars to $50 million. It wins our top spot as the best for maintenance because it leverages volume purchasing with data and analytics to create custom maintenance solutions for its customers.
Although Landscapes Unlimited specializes in golf course construction, it offers a full suite of golf course management services, including operations, accounting and finance, agronomy, irrigation installation, marketing, and food and beverage.
Landscapes Unlimited combines agronomic best practices developed from science and technology and a partnership with National Vendors, one of the largest procurers of green space materials and equipment, to offer its customers low prices on everything from fertilizer to mowers. The company estimates that it delivers 5-10% savings in total maintenance costs and offers customers a fixed maintenance budget with no seasonal swings or unexpected expenses.
Landscapes Unlimited also performs over 90% of project work tasks with its mobile crews and allows customers to customize a program focused on their specific needs that can be adapted and adjusted with ongoing insights and optimizations.
There are many options for your golf course management needs. Troon is at the top of our list as the best overall due to its sheer size, industry expertise, and full turnkey golf management solutions.
Another industry leader, ClubCorp impressed us with its impressive investment of over $500 million in just four years designed to modernize private courses and make them more relevant and profitable.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Indigo Golf Partners grabs the spot as the best for public and municipal courses because of its flexible choice of full course management or à la carte services.
GreatLIFE impressed us with its unique franchise-based model that makes golf a family-friendly activity by focusing on healthy lifestyles, amenities, and low-priced memberships, making it our choice as the best for family-friendly courses.
Finally, Landscapes Unlimited is our choice as the best for maintenance with its unique blend of technology and buying power that lets its customers enjoy significant savings in course maintenance equipment and materials and a fixed maintenance budget.
|Lender||Why We Picked It||Notable Features|
|Troon||Best Overall||End-to-end golf course management in 33 countries|
|ClubCorp||Best for Private Courses||Has invested over $500 million in private golf courses|
|Indigo Golf Partners||Best for Public/Municipal Courses||Full or à la carte golf course management services|
|GreatLIFE||Best for Family-Friendly Courses||Franchise model focus on fitness for the whole family|
|KemperSports||Best for Customer Service||Award-winning proprietary customer service program|
|Landscapes Unlimited||Best for Maintenance||5-10% savings in total maintenance costs|
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is a Golf Course Management Company?
Golf course management companies can take over the day-to-day operations of a golf course and use its expertise and best practices to make it more profitable by increasing its membership. This can comprise anything from managing staffing and payroll to renovating the course and facilities and launching successful marketing campaigns.
What Does a Golf Course Management Company Do?
Most golf course management companies offer turnkey solutions that can manage every aspect of a golf course. These services typically include running the daily operation of a course, providing finance and accounting services, and creating growth strategies through sales and marketing.
Depending on the needs of the course, golf course management companies can also handle food and beverage services, partnerships, and facility renovations and maintenance.
Is It Worth Hiring a Golf Course Management Company?
The golf course management companies we reviewed have the scope and expertise to apply successful marketing plans used in top courses around the world to help any other course succeed.
Given this expertise, courses that are losing membership or stagnant with growth can leverage the targeted services of these companies to increase revenue through membership and other amenities to improve member spending.
A golf course management company can also leverage the buying power of large vendor networks to revamp course facilities and equipment as well as deliver significant savings on course maintenance to reduce overall costs.
How Much Does a Golf Course Management Company Cost?
Due to the highly customized nature of the business-client relationship, none of the companies we reviewed could give us a cost estimate for their services. However, third-party sources indicate that most charge a fee of $6,000 to $10,000 a month or higher.
Some companies will also add on fees for accounting, setup, travel expenses, and more and penalize owners who cancel their contracts with an exorbitant fee of over $100,000.
How We Chose the Best Golf Course Management Companies
We researched more than a dozen golf management companies for this review. At the top of our list were industry leaders that successfully managed high-revenue courses with a complete range of management services.
We also made sure to choose companies that specialize in specific facilities, such as private clubs or municipal courses, to better align the company with a course’s specific needs. Finally, management companies with buying networks are also high on our list since they are able to provide discounts on maintenance supplies and equipment.
All of the companies we selected have deep industry expertise, offer turnkey solutions, employ proven business models, and have access to large vendor networks.