Golf courses and country clubs have been enjoyed in Gwinnett since the 1920s. Since then, the game of golf has helped Gwinnett grow its infrastructure, expand its communities, and land more than its share of deals for the Gwinnett business community with relationships built over eighteen holes and a pint or two. With more golfers teeing up this summer, courses have added additional summer staff. John Gerdts COO and general manager of St. Ives Country Club states, "We are starting to see business levels trending towards those prior to the economic crash. This is a good sign."
A look behind the scenes reveals that the game of golf has always been associated with being great for business. Recent surveys with Fortune 500 companies have shown that 91 percent of their top executives play golf. Another study among top earning sales people and sales managers reported that 93 percent said the sport was good for establishing relationships, 35 percent said playing golf has helped them land some of their biggest deals.
Golf courses, communities and country clubs, have also stirred the Gwinnett economy and infrastructure in the last decade. Hamilton Mill and Appalachee Farms, both in Dacula, have helped expand the areas infrastructure considerably. Eight years after opening, the communities had sold over 1,800 homes from $400,000 to $1 million in price range. In the Lawrenceville and Duluth areas, Sugarloaf and River Club country club communities also sold 1,000+ homes that ranged from $600,000 to $1 million. These communities, and many others, grew a demand for more public and private schools, churches, grocery stores, restaurants and other businesses and helped Gwinnett become what it is today.
Like most businesses, the golf industry has had to develop strategies for earning additional revenues in down times. Weddings and events make for great revenue earners. Laurel Springs Golf Club keeps its calendar full when scheduling tournaments for charities and corporations. Hosting tournaments raises revenue for clubs and courses and offers a great way for businesses and charities to gain some attention or do some fundraising. While talking with Sarah Freeman of the Georgia Club about the golf economy, she explained why tournament play is so important to her Club, "We continue to do well with our golf tournament play, which is important since it is the source that a lot of our future residents and members are first introduced to The Georgia Club."