Golf Course Design Architects in the US Industry Market Research Report Now Available From IBISWorld

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The Golf Course Design Architects industry was hit hard by the recession as golf courses drew fewer customers. In addition, the overbuilding of golf courses during the 1980s and 1990s left industry firms with little to design as the demand for golf decreased. However, more people are expected to hit the links in the coming five years, which will boost demand for golf courses, and in turn, demand for industry services. For these reasons, industry research firm IBISWorld has added a report on the Golf Course Design Architects industry to its growing industry report collection.

IBISWorld Market Research

IBISWorld Market Research

Recent gains were not enough to offset the major declines experienced during the recession

The number of golf course projects declined since 2007, when the subprime mortgage crisis compressed investor assets and, therefore, resulted in a pause in construction. A weak recovery from the ensuing Great Recession has limited opportunities for the Golf Course Design Architects industry. IBISWorld estimates industry revenue will decline at a 3.5% annualized pace in the five years to 2012; this including a 4.7% rebound in 2012 to $163.3 million. According to IBISWorld industry analyst Agata Kaczanowska, due to stalls in business since 2007, employment fell at an average annual rate of 1.8% to 1,613 employees as companies cut costs through layoffs. Nonetheless the number of businesses in the industry increased at an annualized rate of 1.4% in the past five years to total 1,406 in 2012. This increase in firms resulted primarily from growth in the number of non-employers, as some laid-off employees established their own businesses in the same field because it is so specialized. Unfortunately for these companies, more firms bidding on fewer projects boosted competition for golf course design architects, even on smaller contracts. More bids per project forced prices down, squeezing average industry profit.

Demand for new courses is expected to decline due to a sustained drop in golf participation. According to the National Sporting Goods Association the number of people who golfed more than once during 2010 was 21.9 million, down from 25.6 million in 2008 and 26.4 million in 2000 (most recent data available). “As many golf courses continue to demand smaller projects in the next five years because the market for new golf courses is saturated, golf course managers are anticipated to hire independent architects as opposed to larger design firms, which are usually more expensive,” says Kaczanowska. Consequently growth in the number of firms in the Golf Course Design Architects industry is forecast to exceed employment increases in the next five years as well. Resumed contracts from before the Great Recession are forecast to generate substantial revenue gains for the industry. However, the industry is expected to rebound slowly in the next five years because of limited demand from golf courses and country clubs.

This industry has a medium level of market share concentration. This industry is characterized by many small-scale operators, often individual proprietors and partners that operate in narrow geographic markets. The majority of establishments do not have a payroll. A large percentage of industry participants are sole proprietors that rely on subcontracted labor on a per project basis, or are hired to join construction teams made up of other specialized designers and architects. Most employer firms are two-person enterprises in 2012. For more information, visit IBISWorld’s Golf Course Design Architects report in the US industry page.

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IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics

This industry plans and designs land developments for golf courses by applying knowledge of land characteristics with the game of golf. Golf course design firms also renovate and remodel existing golf courses.

Industry Performance
Executive Summary
Key External Drivers
Current Performance
Industry Outlook
Industry Life Cycle
Products & Markets
Supply Chain
Products & Services
Major Markets
Globalization & Trade
Business Locations
Competitive Landscape
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Barriers to Entry
Major Companies
Operating Conditions
Capital Intensity
Key Statistics
Industry Data
Annual Change
Key Ratios

About IBISWorld Inc.
Recognized as the nation’s most trusted independent source of industry and market research, IBISWorld offers a comprehensive database of unique information and analysis on every US industry. With an extensive online portfolio, valued for its depth and scope, the company equips clients with the insight necessary to make better business decisions. Headquartered in Los Angeles, IBISWorld serves a range of business, professional service and government organizations through more than 10 locations worldwide. For more information, visit or call 1-800-330-3772.


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