How golf can be the oasis amid the Coronavirus storm

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Golf can offer a safe haven away from virus fears

These are strange and very different days. There is a virus lurking and there is a sense of fear. We realize the world moves quickly, but never could we have imagined the speed of change during the past few weeks. If you are a sports fan beyond golf, your entire world after work has been upended. Heck, even Disney has shut down. The new rule and phrase at this moment is: social distancing. 

But even as the nation clusters inside, golf can play a vital role as the oasis in the storm.

Yes, large gatherings are discouraged. But golf is an activity with four or fewer people. And it’s a great way to get away from the 24/7 fright box and enjoy nature. But your daily operations need to adjust to serve in this new normal. This highfives post will share five thoughts about service in the time of the Coronavirus:

1)    Have the club look, feel, and have the scent of very clean and shiny. Show the staff cleaning and make certain there is a fresh scent in the areas where golfers gather. Think cinnamon.

2)    Have an updated set of written standards that every staffer reads and signs in front of you. These changes should include using members names, not shaking hands, and absolutely not bringing medical humor into any conversation. You do not know what people may be dealing with at home

3)    Have the brightest stars on your team be the face of the club, in the front of the house. What people need are smiles, patience, care & attention. Many tempers may be short, so please have your nicest people control the service temperature

4)    Golfers may not want to hang out (with groups of strangers) after golf, so create a golf & go menu of food and drink. This can be good after 9 or 18. Be certain to include lighter food items for women and juniors

5)    Every department manager should be out in front, serving the golfers, and staying away from their offices during those hours when the majority of golfers are in the clubhouse. Have all show extra appreciation that these golfers are playing, and playing at your facility. Your club needs to be that place where golfers can feel safe, can have a good time, and stay away from 24/7 cable mania, and please do not have televisions in the service areas tuned to the news. Sports channels only! You and your people have other ways to get news updates.

We need to think and act differently at this time. These are but a few thoughts and ideas to think about testing as you work to execute your daily business program. It is important to know that it is not business as usual. It is a time for your best to shine, for your gratitude to be over the top, and for all key people to be in front of your customer. Spreadsheets, e-mails, and other office work has to take a back seat to showing people how you and your team value their time and their business. Be the oasis in this storm now, and become the place to be when calm returns.

Jack Dillon writes the high fives series. Jack has been serving the golf industry since 1973. He is an excellent speaker and expert in operations, service, and merchandise. Call Jack to present at your next team meeting. Jack lives in Orlando. Reach him at 407-973-6136. He guarantees results.

Comments

I’m a bit shocked at the article’s lack of regard for staff who can easily serve as a vector of transmission. The guidelines as listed above guarantee nothing and shouldn’t safety and health be paramount? I’m all for providing service and amenities to Members but as a Leader, one must consider all Stakeholders. My club is the only one in our area to shutdown the clubhouse completely and allow walking golfers only. This was done out of respect for our employees including Salaried staff. When I volunteered to do some things on my own, my BOD insisted on my safety and politely declined my offer of services expansion. I will forever be grateful to them for this consideration and that of not forcing me to put people under my charge at risk. This smacks of the usual club-manager thing where one has to outdo another.

Many clubs/courses can't open their clubhouses at all right now due to state and local mandates.

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