Doing business in the new world

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With the world being a strangely different place than it was pre-pandemic, what will you do to have your property and team appreciate the changes within this new pandemic mindset? The differences are stark, dramatic and at times unsettling. People now work differently, shop very differently and drive at a pace not recognized by most speed guns as they move through their day with the determination of the pet hanging onto their old, familiar ball. As you consider ways to change the property for the better in 2022, there are a few areas I am suggesting you look towards, in order to catch up to the new frantic life of your golfers. No doubt you will continue to put a team together using hope, velcro and some soulful chanting. At the same time, you will be working hard to match the hyper numbers from the year 2020, when the pandemic made golf the game of the year. Because people are thinking about their lives very differently than in times past,maybe it is time to focus on just a few specific, key areas. This post will highlight three which I believe will place your property where people are at this time: security, the experience, and the presentation/beauty around the club. Here are my three thoughts:

Security: there is no question people do not feel as safe or as comfortable out in the world as they did just two years ago. From their vehicles to their clubs to their very well-being, they are anxious about the world, beyond their front door. Work with your managers, team, local law enforcement, and larger community to tighten up the security strategies around your property. In an emergency, what is the plan? Does every staff member know the plan? Would a new team member in their first week on the job know what to do first, second? From people to property, review, assess and look to upgrade the security from the parking lot to the kitchen to the superintendent’s barn. The time to make things right is before there is a regrettable situation.

Experience: no matter the status or rate of your property, look at the experience as a new guest might. Of course, you are having issues hiring people, training people and of course, keeping them as part of the team. Even still, your members and guests have expectations. It is important, I believe, for you to set those expectations: communicate what is realistic for your team, and then manage these expectations each and every day. Past feeling safe, people are there for the experience, the golf course and their friends. Highlight those areas where you shine and minimize the areas, even temporarily, where you simply cannot manage as well today as in times past. As you hire more staff, you can always add to the service menu throughout the year. Develop the strategy your team can execute, and then recognize and reward the staff based on this updated strategy.

Presentation/Beauty: even most old, crusty golfers (like me) love flowers, the smell of freshly cut grass, and a bright, clean presentation. Focus on what a guest will see from the parking lot to the bag drop to the first tee. Is it clean, free from debris and other impediments staff usually stops seeing after a time? You may not receive a standing ovation, but I am betting your golfers see and will appreciate all of the above as they pull into the property. Together with a painted, clean look, fresh colorful flowers and fairways cut sharp and clean will grab the attention of every paying customer. Your golfers will appreciate the time, care and attention put in by you and your team. Members love the idea of their dollars being put to good use. Make the first impression before they arrive on the tee of something to look at and be proud of. It is their club too.  

In summary, times have been good for many in the golf industry. Punching up the security issues is more than a nice thing to do, while service and presentation are directly linked to loyalty, the prices you charge, and the pride of ownership both the staff member and golfer hold for their club. Think about the things that will make people safe, feel the experience, and love the space they are in as you plan out 2022.


Jack Dillon writes the IN MY OPINION post. Jack is a golf expert, speaker, consultant, and author of a new book: Jump the Line: 101 Lessons for Professional Success. Jack is available and ready to help you build better sales in 2022, as well as a better team. Jack understands communications, how to speak and how to listen. Contact Jack at: 407-973-6136, or at Jack lives in Orlando and on Zoom.

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