How does Cabot strive to develop its golf clubs & innovate the golf club industry?

By: December 20, 2023

I have been keeping an eye on the progress of The Cabot Collection for a while now. I’m interested in how they select their locations, golf course designers, and other aspects of their business.

As part of my consulting work, I have recommended Cabot to others as a valuable resource/reference.

That’s why I was thrilled when Ben Cowan-Dewar, the Co-Founder and CEO of Cabot, agreed to an interview with me.

To what extent do you understand who your customers are?

I believe that understanding our guests and homeowners is both something we do really well at Cabot and something that I have built all of my businesses in golf around.

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We know that our guests and homeowners are passionate about great golf in remarkable destinations.

We are focused on ensuring Cabot properties now and in the future are built around world-class golf and expand beyond that to include resort amenities, excellent food & beverage experiences, destination-specific adventures, and for-sale real estate.

We are actively listening to what guests and owners are seeking and try to stay ahead of the curve to provide a well-rounded experience for them.

Interest in real estate sales at new Cabot destinations has come largely from a strong word-of-mouth network and current members and guests sharing with their friends and family.

How do you utilize the benefits of AI in golf club operations & in other areas of the business?

We are always looking at ways to improve our guest and owner experience through the use of technology, including AI.

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From the installation of Trackman technology at Cabot Citrus Farms to partnering with a golf waitlist provider to help give people access to their desired tee times, we will continue to implement these technologies wherever they can add value to our guests and improve their experience at a Cabot property.

What is the growth potential of luxury golf clubs and resorts?

There has been huge growth in luxury golf resorts in the past decade, and I see that trend continuing as golf not only becomes more popular but also as clubs continue to expand beyond golf with a range of amenities and experiences.

We know that people are more engaged than ever in active, outdoor pursuits and particularly those that can include all members of the family.

We have had the great fortune of building and acquiring some of the best properties in the world and will continue to pursue those opportunities to expand the Cabot brand in a very intentional, purposeful way.

The markets we remain concentrated on are North America and Europe, where we know the customers and hope they will continue to get to know us!

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How & to what extent have the expectations of golf course designers changed in the last 10 years?

I think the audience is far more global in the past 10 years. I remember photos of great golf courses overseas being extremely rare 20 years ago, and now everyone’s Instagram feed is full of them.

Globalization has been great for architects, and the ease of travel has meant sites that no one would have considered 30 years ago have become some of the most desirable.

With great sites come great responsibility and great expectations, and therefore, I think the pressure is greater than ever before.

I will never forget Pete Dye saying he built an island green 17th at PGA West so the West Coast golfer could have a flavor for Sawgrass. Now golfers are going from Tasmania to Lofoten to see the next great thing!