Fact Checked

How Do I Start a Golf Franchise?

Patrick Lynch
Patrick Lynch

Franchises are becoming a more popular choice than self-starting businesses for entrepreneurs because of the lower level of risk involved. Those who own businesses have freedom, but when you run a franchise, you are giving yourself a much greater chance of success. There are a host of companies that will help you start your own golf franchise, but you will still have to be prepared to pay a minimum franchise fee as well as injecting your own capital. You will need to research which franchises are willing to open a store in your area, then choose the one with whom you wish to go into business.

Those who advocate franchises over small businesses will tell you that they have a much lower failure rate. If you want to own a piece of a golf franchise, it is said that you will have a 10 percent chance of failure compared to 40 percent or more if you attempt to start a golfing business from scratch. Opponents of franchises claim that the average investment in a franchise is up to five times higher than the average investment in a self-starting business.

A person playing golf.
A person playing golf.

If you have ideas of your own and don’t like the idea of being dictated to, then starting a golf franchise is not for you. This is because the franchisor will be dictating terms to you, and the franchisor also will be unlikely to accept any plans you have for improvements. The franchisor might even criticize you for trying to dictate how to run the business.

A golf course.
A golf course.

Regardless of what type of franchise you elect to become a part of, you will have to take into account a number of considerations. There is the issue of site location and lease negotiations. Your franchisor will be in charge of all of this. There also is the issue of market research to ensure that it is in the franchisor's best economic interests to open a franchise in your area.

Golf franchises are popular because the sport’s popularity is consistently high and it is possible to get everything up and running within a few months. This typically is possible because the franchise has the support of a large company. As well as selling golfing apparel, many golf franchises have putting greens and driving ranges in an effort to lure in casual golfers.

If you are new to business, buying a golf franchise is probably a better idea than starting out on your own. Several years as manager of the franchise should serve you well. This will allow you to take on the tougher role of self-ownership in years to come as you learn the business, train employees and develop a solid base of customers.

To truly excel in the golf franchise arena, it's essential to recognize the value of consistent practice. While the golf course offers its charm, honing skills at home can significantly contribute to success. Utilizing tools like the best putting mat can be a game-changer.

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Discussion Comments


@Soulfox -- I always figured running a golf course would have a lot to do with finding the right niche and servicing it.

For example, there are plenty of golf communities and country clubs in my part of the world. What we are lacking are great public courses. If someone was to build a top notch public course here, it might do very well.

Even if the right niche is targeted, though, it could take some time for enough people to come in and play so the owner can collect cash and pay the bills. That may be where a franchise is the most valuable. Those have the financial backing to help someone start up a golf course the right way.


There is no way I would start a golf business from scratch these days. The competition is too fierce because there are "golf communities" everywhere so a lot of golfers have homes in those and play the neighborhood courses.

In those communities that are not overrun with golfing communities, country clubs and public links, it is still wickedly expensive to start and maintain a golf course. If you can get the initial investment together, you'll still have to worry about groundskeepers, running a pro shop and keeping it staffed, etc.

The expense is one of the primary reasons a golf franchise is attractive. Combine that with the notion that the company that owns the franchise knows better than to put a course in an area that won't support it and you've got a decent recipe for success.

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