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A Publication of the National Golf Foundation

Questions, Answers and Insights for Everyone Interested in the Business of Golf


National Golf Course Owners Association


Corporate Headquarters

Charleston, South Carolina


Key Employees

Jay Karen – CEO
Mike Ketterman – Director of Corporate Partnerships
Jay Andersen – Director of Membership


The National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA) is the leading authority on the business of golf course ownership and management, providing information and education to owners and operators, while also serving as an advocate for their best interests.

A non-profit organization founded in 1979, the NGCOA is the only trade association that is exclusively dedicated to golf course owners and operators – from those who run 9-hole facilities in rural parts of the United States, to the largest resort properties in the country. Member types run the spectrum, including daily-fee and semi-private courses, private and resort properties, and golf management companies of all sizes.

The NGCOA helps course owners understand the most important issues facing their business and supplies them with the information they need to make critical decisions. From issues such as online tee time distribution and tax policies, to workforce management and marketing, the NGCOA keeps abreast of the most important happenings in the industry and communicates them to its membership.

The NGCOA hosts multiple events each year: annually, the Golf Business Conference and Multi-Course & Resort Operators Retreat, and, alternating bi-annually, Golf Business TechCon and Golf Business RevCon – all of which provide attendees the chance to connect and network with fellow course owners and operators, learn about new technologies and solutions, and leave with tools and strategies to improve their business. NGCOA has also been publishing the leading trade publication, Golf Business magazine, for 25 years.

The NGCOA staff celebrates the 2019 NGCOA Award of Merit winner, David Feherty, at Golf Business Conference 2019, which was held in San Diego, California. (Photo credit: NGCOA)


In addition, the association develops exclusive reporting and tools, while also offering a robust purchasing program comprised of trusted industry suppliers, to improve members’ golf course businesses and bottom lines. Ultimately, in an ever-changing industry that can be significantly affected by market changes, unpredictable weather, technology, and government regulations, the NGCOA’s mission is to help course owners run their facilities as efficiently and profitably as possible.

NGF Takeaways

Today, golf course owners and operators have to be savvier than ever before and the NGCOA is uniquely positioned to keep them informed and educated.

The organization is perhaps more essential than ever, as owners are confronted with a challenging environment that includes competition for customers’ time and money from an abundance of other recreational activities. Bringing change to a traditional game like golf can be difficult, particularly when there’s a sensitivity to avoid alienating its most loyal, long-standing customers, but the NGCOA has been able to successfully walk that line.

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