Industry News

Arcis Golf teams with SMU for research


New Relationship Strengthens Ties Between SMU and One of the Golf Industry’s Fastest-Growing Businesses

Dallas, Texas (March 21, 2019) -- Arcis Golf is collaborating with The Brierley Institute for Customer Engagement at SMU Cox School of Business (SMU Cox) to conduct a customer engagement research project. The proprietary study will seek to optimize fee-based membership programs at Arcis Golf’s daily-fee facilities throughout the United States.

Arcis Golf currently owns and manages more than 60 courses in golf-heavy markets including Dallas (where SMU Cox is located), Phoenix, Southern California, and Chicago, and serves other markets such as Florida and Las Vegas. At every property, public or private, Arcis Golf strives to provide the highest-level customer experience.

The Brierley Institute creates innovative learning opportunities for SMU Cox MBA students aspiring to careers in marketing, business analytics, and consulting. Selected MBA students have embarked on the project, studying Arcis Golf’s current membership programs and suggesting improvements and enhancements. Marci Armstrong, Harold M. Brierley Endowed Professor and Director of the Brierley Institute for Customer Engagement, identified the participants from among current SMU Cox MBA candidates.

“These students learn to develop strategies that build customer relationships, leverage digital and traditional media, measure financial impact, and create customer experiences, which engage customers to create loyalty and build value,” said Armstrong, an experienced professor of marketing. “It is our honor to put the talents of the Brierley Institute’s best students to work on behalf of a company as innovative and forward-thinking as Arcis Golf.”

This is a natural alliance between the two entities. Arcis Golf was founded by SMU alum CEO Blake Walker, and three other SMU alumni fill executive management positions. In 2016, the Cox School’s Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship ranked Arcis Golf the second fastest-growing, privately held Dallas area business in its annual Dallas 100™ competition. The Caruth Institute measures sales growth within a designated three-year period to determine the ranking.

Arcis Golf also has been selected numerous times to the annual Inc. Magazine 5000 list of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies, while Walker has been recognized by EY as the Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2018 award winner in the hospitality category for the Southwest region.

Working together creates additional engagement opportunities for Arcis, the Brierley Institute, and its top students, and enables Arcis to take advantage of on-campus speaking opportunities, involvement with student projects, and special Institute events.

“We are excited to be working with the students at the Brierley Institute, getting the benefit of their participation in this project while contributing to SMU, which means a great deal to many of us at Arcis Golf as well as the entire Dallas business community,” said Walker. “This is a wonderful symbiotic relationship, both entities gaining from working with the other, and a terrific platform for professional growth for the students after they graduate. We’re expecting great ideas from them.”

The Brierley Institute, named for customer loyalty trailblazer Harold M. (Hal) Brierley, is the first academic institute in the nation devoted to the study of customer engagement. Brierley and his wife, Diane, donated a $10 million gift to establish the Institute in 2016. Emphasizing a collaborative environment – including a free exchange of ideas, insights, and practices – the Institute brings together students, professors, and business practitioners to understand how and why customers engage with brands and how engagement drives customer loyalty and value.

“We are counting on the Brierley Institute and these talented MBA students to offer a fresh perspective and conduct integrated research on behalf of Arcis Golf,” said Chris Crocker, CMO, Arcis Golf. “The creation of bespoke customer engagement programs for our brand will be another differentiator in the golf and country club lifestyle arena.”

Recognized as one of the fastest-growing private companies in America, Arcis Golf is the premier operator of public and private golf clubs in the United States with a current portfolio of more than 60 properties in 15 states from coast to coast. An industry leader providing dynamic direction and unrivaled amenities that complement diverse playing experiences, Arcis Golf is committed to reinventing the golf and country club lifestyle experience.

About Arcis Golf
Recognized as one of the fastest-growing private companies in America, Arcis Golf is the premier operator of public and private golf clubs in the United States with a current portfolio of more than 60 properties in 14 states from coast to coast. An industry leader, providing dynamic direction and unrivaled amenities that complement diverse playing experiences, Arcis Golf is committed reinventing the golf and country club lifestyle experience to a level of excellence that exceeds all expectations. Arcis Golf’s allocation of more than $60 million in major capital improvements to its facilities has resulted in award-winning clubhouse transformations, golf course renovations, and other upgrades that represent part of Arcis Golf’s industry-leading acquisition investment of $400 million since its formation in July 2015. Arcis Golf is supported by Arcis Equity Partners, LLC, a private-equity firm dedicated to making equity and debt investments in the real estate and leisure sectors. Through strategic acquisitions that build and sustain Arcis Golf as a leader in upscale golf and lifestyle experiences, the complete Arcis Golf portfolio benefits from the commitment of Arcis Equity Partners, LLC. Capitalizing on the resources developed to support its growing portfolio, Arcis Golf also provides professional management services to third-party owners under its Arcis Advantage division, Location: 4851 Lyndon B Johnson Fwy, Suite 600 Dallas, Texas 75244. Phone: (214) 722-6000. Website:

About SMU Cox
The SMU Cox School of Business, established in 1920, is committed to influencing the way the world conducts business via prolific research that provokes innovation, change, and global thought leadership. The Cox School of Business offers a full range of business education programs, including BBA, Full-Time MBA, Professional MBA (part-time), and Master’s degree programs, as well as Executive Education. Consistently ranked among the world’s leading business schools, SMU Cox maintains an active alumni network in more than 80 countries. SMU Cox is accredited by the AACSB.

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