Arthur Little

Senior Trustee, Royal Little Family Foundation

W Siart  

The Royal Little Family Foundation provides the golf industry with data and guidance concerning the placement of tees and other course set up concepts. The intent of these ideas is to make courses more playable for a wider spectrum of players, thereby improving facility economics.

From 1996 to 2005, Little was co-owner of Province Lake Golf in Parsonsfield, Maine. He and Jann Leeming, his wife, bought the course out of bankruptcy and rebuilt it over a period of five years. Their focus was to make the course playable (i.e., fun and comfortable) for women and families while retaining the male regulars.

Realizing that the course didn’t fit many of the golfers playing the course, they rebuilt the tee system. Including some combination tees, the course now has six sets of tees ranging from 1,998 yards to 6,336 yards. During their ownership rounds increased 150 percent. Women’s play increased from 15 percent to 35 percent and junior play from 1.5 percent to 7.5 percent. Bottom line results increased $200,000.

In addition to the changes to the tee system, Province Lake also provided childcare (with 24-hour notice), the NGCOA “Kids on Course” program, and less-than-nine-hole rates after 4 p.m.

When not involved in the golf industry, Arthur served on the board of Iron Mountain, the world’s leading record management company for 19 years.  He was chair of the nominating and governance committee and served on the audit committee. He also serves on the advisory board of Capital Resource Partners, a mezzanine venture fund.

In a previous life, Arthur was in the venture capital business from 1967 to 1996. He graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. in History in 1966. He has been a golf addict since 1959.

Arthur has written (or co-written) the following papers and articles

  • Proportional Tee Positioning for Design Fairness AND Fun and Profit (The concepts outlined in this paper have been adopted by Mike Keiser on all his courses.)
  • Your Golf Course is Way Too Long
  • “It’s Time to Think Differently about How Golfers are Categorized – Think Swing Speed,” Troon electronic magazine 2010
  • “Movin’ On Up,” Golf Business Canada, Winter 2011
  • “Discrimination in Golf Course Design,” Ladies Links Fore Golf, Winter 2011
  • “The Facts of Swing Speed and Distance,” By Design, Fall 2012
  • “How We Made Golf a Family Activity,” PGA Magazine, November 2012
  • Two op-ed pieces for Golf Course Architecture on tee positioning and course setup for slower swing speed golfers.