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The title of this blog is part of a quote, a curse actually.  The complete curse or quote is: "May you live in interesting times."  It has been stated as a very old Chinese curse, although after some reading, it is more a rumor than an actual Chinese curse.  It is however a very appropo quote for these times in the lives of all who work in golf.  In fact, if you have been a part of our industry during any of the past 15 years, you have lived and worked in very interesting times.  No more however than our present day.  Because you are an insider, you know the real story of our game as an industry, how it is doing, and where it may be headed.  Unfortunately, the many voices of outsiders believe our game is doomed, and every golf course property should be turned into housing.

  No doubt, the stories are difficult.  Stores closing, brands shutting down the golf side of their business.  The most difficult part are the people losing jobs.  As I have stated in an earlier past, the game was never meant to be a publically traded industry.  It was never meant to be supersized.  It is the greatest game, and an amazing industry to be a part of.  It however, was not meant to be the size of baseball, football, or the auto industry.  Yes, these are tough times, and although we are part of the struggle, we also know there can be real success in the business.  This post is about working your way through these times in order to create success where you live and work.  Here are my 5 thoughts:

  1. set the proper expectations for your business, your team, and sales on a daily basis
  2. be sure to review your cap-ex budget each quarter to make certain your spending matches your sales
  3. in tough times, you cannot afford to pay poor workers.  Create the right standards for all, install a proactive training program, and work to build winners where you can
  4. work your neighborhood hard to drive business.  I believe golf is local, so build relationships all around your club in order to drive daily business
  5. know that your course is the product.  Invest to make it green, fast, and attractive.  Golf is about the course, everything else is an add-on sale.  Drive golf rounds & memberships are job #1!

  The game is in a transition.  Be sure to know your customer, and treat them as no one else.  We do now work and live in interesting times.  That means you need to think smarter, hire better, retain your best, and do more than ever before.  We can worry each day, what might be next, or put our collective heads down and make sure it all works.  I have a new quote: "May you succeed in interesting times."  Many will, so why not you?


Jack Dillon writes the highfives blog.  Jack is an experienced speaker, shop expert, and a long-term student of customer service.  His strategies can improve your business.  Contact Jack at 407-973-6136.  Jack lives in Orlando.  Thank you.

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