Developing long term success for your golf community

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How to take advantage of the love and joy people have for and about the game.

There is a current television ad running from a major golf retailer. The ad shows golfers in a variety of golf swing postures and poses. Every person shown however, is not on a golf course. They are each going through their day, daydreaming about their next round of golf. It is an inspirational ad, designed to excite both the golfer and the person aspiring to play the game. By playing a role, nurturing the aspiration of your golfers, you and your team can go a long way to developing long term success for golf in your community.

This blog post will be a bit different. It will present 5 thoughts to test and try. It may also go against the grain a bit. We are at a grand time in our game. A time many of us have envisioned for decades. We have been to the seminars, had the conversations, and believed that millions more would always come and play our game. Due to the pandemic, for the past several months we have experienced exactly that. People are coming to the game in numbers truly unthinkable prior to June 2020. My belief is that this growth, although maybe smaller than the 2020 numbers, will continue. Because of the vaccines, the many new golfers, the frantic desire to be away from home, the grand new golf entertainment centers, and an economy that is on steroids, this golf growth spurt should continue. My hope here is that we nurture this growth and the golfers by taking the long term view, and by building a culture and the matching programs to sustain success for years to come. Here are my highfives to try and maybe test going forward:

1)    Engage: create a culture on your property where (when that time comes) your staff members engage with your golfers, interacting with them about golf and their joy. Too many times golfers jump in their cart, never to be heard, or spoken to again. Create a story with your team, of engagement, of getting to know the players beyond the time of the tee sheet.

2)    Don’t treat the first tee only as a turnstile: the game is on fire. Men, women, and juniors are playing as never before. Of course you will accept as many players as the daylight and tee sheet will allow. At the same time, why not develop programs to teach (with value), to entertain, and to create loyalty. Play the long game. Use fun and education as ways you can play a different game.

3)    Think in new directions: the world is very different than it was in December of 2019. That means the people who play the game are different, are more savvy with tech, spend their time & dollars in very different ways. Make the day more convenient for the world of 2021, which is lightyears different than just 16 months ago. Offer more service, convenience and advice, in order to keep the golfers on the tee sheet long after the world comes back to earth. Think about the many new golfers who know little but already have the passion.

4)    Prepare: for an economy that will be fully open once again. Consumers everywhere are ready to do, to try, to spend as probably never in their lifetimes. Create a game plan with your team to come up with a sales strategy designed to create experimentation and trial for your golfers. Create loyalty events for new players as well as those golfers who know every blade of grass on property. Develop competition, with fun, for everyone.

5)    Change: no matter how great some ideas and programs were for you before Covid-19, go forward planning the future with a new, blank whiteboard. Get with your entire team to see how you should adjust to the new world. Think about sales programs, marketing ideas, social media programs that will make sense for tomorrow, as well as today. In every meeting place Fun, Convenience, Safety, and Value at the center of your whiteboard to create focus and potential ideas in the areas that matter to your golfers.

Take advantage of the love and joy people have for and about the game. Create a property attitude and culture that is all about supporting this love, and the aspiration to hit that one next grand shot. Plan for that day when the virus is a very bad memory. Plan to help your golfers play better, buy better, and feel good every time they step onto your property. The game is flying high. What can you do to maintain that altitude for years to come?

Jack Dillon writes the Highfives post. Jack is a writer, speaker, storyteller. He is an expert in the golf shop, in service, in operations, and in better communications. Jack is available to help your team and your property improve in 2021. Jack has been in the game since 1973. You can reach Jack at: dillonjack53@gmail.com and at 407-973-6136. Jack lives in Orlando and on Zoom.

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