Golf pro tees up tour service for visitors
Chip Gist, a member of the PGA, said he launched the Austin Golf Trail as an answer to a basic economic problem.
“In our market there is more supply for golf than there is demand,” he said. “To respond to this problem, most courses lower their rates at certain times [of the year] to attract more local golfers.”
Dissatisfied with the general model of the local golf industry, Gist and business partner Jason Ashley created Austin Golf Trail to entice golf enthusiasts throughout the country to vacation in Austin, a city that was not yet on the map of golfing destinations, Gist said.
“There are 100 million people in this country going on a golf trip every year and spending the night away from home,” Gist said. “These golfers are eating, drinking and shopping—and Austin was not pursuing any of that business.”
Gist served western Travis County as the general manager and golf director at Southwest Austin’s Grey Rock Golf Club and has served in various capacities at Barton Creek Resort & Spa.
Play Away: Austin Golf Trail
Did you know that there are 35 golf courses within 45 minutes of downtown Austin? That’s a lot of green!
Chip Gist, founder of the Austin Golf Trail, wanted to help solve the some of the supply and demand issues that such a saturation inevitably creates: “There are more golf courses in Austin than local demand can support,” he explains. “So we decided to create new demand for the courses from outside our market. With the help of the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau, we market Austin as a golf destination to the rest of the country and then fulfill that marketing with a full service concierge.”