GGA and Bigwin Realty Announce Transaction Advisory Partnership

TORONTO, ONTARIO – October 1, 2018

Global Golf Advisors Inc. (“GGA”) and Bigwin Realty Inc. (“Bigwin Realty”) are pleased to announce the formation of a new partnership focused on providing industry-leading advisory services around the purchase and sale of golf course properties in Canada.

Craig Johnston, Director – Transaction Advisory of GGA said, “We believe our partnership with Bigwin Realty will provide golf course owners and investors with a go-to resource for the purchase and sale of golf course properties in Canada. From assisting owners with their exit strategy, to understanding the fair value of their property, to sourcing buyers and brokering transactions, we will truly be a one-stop shop.”

David Smith, President of Bigwin Realty said, “With the changing business environment for golf course owners in Canada, the combined service offerings of GGA and Bigwin Realty will provide our clients with unparalleled support to maximize the value of their investment.”

The partnership’s service offerings will include the following:

  • Exit Strategy Review/Development: Help owners understand the exit opportunities which will provide the greatest after-tax value.
  • Business Valuation Services: Provide independent and objective estimate of value of the business and underlying property; and provide recommendations for value enhancement.
  • Brokerage Services: Broker the purchase and/or sale of golf course properties.
  • Transaction Structuring and Evaluation: Assist owners in evaluating solicited and unsolicited offers and provide direction on the most advantageous deal structuring.
  • Purchase and Sale Negotiations: Support owners or investors in purchase and sale negotiations.

For more details on the partnership and properties currently available, click here.

About Global Golf Advisors
Global Golf Advisors is the largest consulting firm in the world dedicated to the golf and club industry.  GGA serves a global roster of clients from its four offices in Toronto, Phoenix, Dublin and Sydney.  The firm was founded in 1992 as a specialty consulting practice within KPMG Canada, KPMG’s Golf Industry Practice.  Since inception, the firm has provided industry-leading advisory services to over 3,000 clients worldwide.

About Bigwin Realty
Bigwin Realty is a full-service real estate brokerage, whose founder has spent over 30 years working in the golf, recreation and resort industries.  Bigwin Realty firmly believes that a real estate company should offer more than typical brokerage services, providing clients with a more focused knowledge of the industry it serves.

Focus on Planning, Not Plans

Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, who served as Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe and planned the successful invasions of North Africa, France and Germany during World War II, didn’t put much stock in plans.

“Plans are nothing,” Ike once said. Planning, however, was an entirely different matter for the man who would become our nation’s 34th president. He believed “planning is everything.” In other words, the value really derives from the disciplined process that produces the plan. Furthermore, a plan that has not been preceded by sufficient planning may not get you where you want to go.

Are you planning for the future of your facility or club in ways that produce the right plans to guide your actions? Before you try to jump to the final product (the plan), consider a few basic but critical planning steps.

Agronomic Planning. Many states in the U.S. and most Canadian provinces have begun the progressive reduction of pesticides on golf courses and sports fields. Is your course anticipating the almost certain changes that are coming? Your planning process also should address water and water-taking, fertility, pesticides and chemical use and storage, tree replacement and removal, mechanical care and upkeep of maintenance equipment, and employee training and development.

Capital Improvement and Investment Planning. Golf courses and private clubs have insatiable appetites for capital. As a result, clubs must maintain a robust and thorough roster of capital assets, ranging from community infrastructure and buildings to rolling stock and maintenance equipment to furniture, fixtures and equipment.

Typically, capital and investment plans are the work of the controller and the finance committee. But expansive-thinking clubs also include in the process management, staff and the people who actually use and operate the capital assets. The more inputs provided to the capital asset roster, the better the eventual capital plan. The controller should issue clear and unequivocal guidance concerning the active definition of capital assets to ensure board-based understanding and compliance.

When planning for future capital needs, take into account: capital items owned by the club; standard useful life estimates (available through the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants); life-cycle projections for golf course assets, including greens, tees, sand bunkers, irrigation systems and drainage (available through the American Society of Certified Golf Architects); and actual standard unit counts of assets to ensure alignment with utilization needs and patterns.

Crisis Planning. What happens in the event of a disastrous or tragic event at your club? What specific actions should employees take, and in which priority order? Which staff members are authorized to contact and deal with police, emergency responders and fire departments? Who contacts the insurer? Who drafts responses to media questions and acts as a spokesperson for the club? Who manages the subsequent media cycles? All of these questions should be anticipated and answered during a detailed planning process and obviously before any crisis.

Resources in answering these questions include your insurance carrier and agent, local public services of fire, health and public safety, and experts available through major professional associations such as CMAA, GCSAA and PGA.

Marketing Planning. One of the regrettable truths revealed by the Great Recession is that most golf courses and private clubs do not understand their markets well enough to inform their most critical decision making. Few conduct a business-like market analysis of existing customers and prospective market segments outside of the front gate.

Lacking a thorough and current understanding of their markets, most clubs execute misdirected, ineffective and potentially costly marketing efforts. Top-performing clubs have studied and measured their market areas. Among other benefits, this research helps them understand feeder markets (which may be out of state and beyond) that can sustain growth and reliable financial performance.

Armed with the information uncovered during the planning process, you now have the ingredients of a comprehensive business plan which supports your overall strategic plan. While he may not salute your plan, Ike would surely be impressed with the hard work and critical thinking that produced it.

This article was authored by GGA Partner Henry DeLozier for Golf Course Industry.