The pinnacle of each club golf season is the NCCGA National Championship. It's where the top club golf teams and individuals from all across the country meet to determine a champion. The Spring 2016 Championship will be hosted at The Resort at Glade Springs in Daniels, West Virginia.
Booking a Championship golf event for over 250 students can be more complicated than meets the eye. After receiving a couple emails from NCCGA students about why we choose West Virginia, I thought it would be a good idea to help all players understand the factors that go into booking an NCCGA National Championship. Here's eight of the key factors we look at:
1) Convenient Location
We try to find central locations where the majority of teams can drive to the Championship versus flying which saves on travel costs. We would love to go to the West Coast, but for 95% of teams, that would require flying which would prohibit the major of teams from coming. We have done our best to move Nationals to different areas of the country. Spoiler Alert - We are getting proposals in Arizona for 2017.
As you may know, golf in certain areas of the country is much more expensive. For example, golf on the West Coast and New York City are more expensive than other areas in the country. The cost for the tournament would be significantly increased on the west coast, never mind travel costs.
Airports are a concern in West Virginia as they were in Mississippi for the Fall 2014 NCCGA National Championship at Dancing Rabbit. Having a Nationals in a more central location provides the opportunity for more teams to drive versus fly. Unfortunately there are not many good 36-hole golf venues located directly near major airports which is why we focus on driveable locations.
4) Golf course quality
Believe it or not, there are not that many golf courses with 36 holes that are high quality. TPC San Antonio was a huge win for us for the Fall 2015 Championship, but the reality is costs for "big name" courses that host tour events that have 36 holes are not a reality. For example, Kiawah would charge us $295 for 1 round of golf which is at a discount. Doral would charge us $225 for 1 round of golf. PGA West would be $150 for 1 round of golf. We do our best to find the best value, high quality courses that have at least 36 holes. If the tournament costs too much money, we would price prohibit teams from participating.
5) Taxes, fees, gratuity
Many people do not understand the true costs that go into running events. Most National Championship facilities will charge a service fee equal to 20-28% on top of the cost. Resorts always have fees like this which increase costs. If the rate shows $100 on a website, the true cost might be a $128 which makes a big difference.
6) Private versus public clubs
Most private clubs will not close their golf course for an entire weekend for us. Unfortunately we do not carry the clout and revenue opportunity “YET” of the USGA or the PGA Tour where a private golf club would close all 36 holes to host a college tournament. As a result are golf course search and typically narrowed down to more public and semi-private facilities.
7) Fun Factor
Finding a location where there is fun stuff to do outside of golf is difficult. Some of the best golf courses in the world are located in the middle of nowhere unfortunately. We have found that students enjoy going to major cities like San Antonio or Myrtle Beach versus Mississippi given there is more to do outside of golf.
8) Pre-booked events
Although we look 2+ years out for our championships, many great courses are already booked on the weekend when we need to host our events or might be going through scheduled maintenance like aerification during our Championship dates.
Hopefully the above commentary can provide some more perspective on what it takes to book a NCCGA National Championship event. Do you have any National Championship course suggestions? Tweet them to me and I will add them to my list for future events. Make sure your suggestion meets the criteria above! @collegegolfguy.