Five ways to enhance your relationship with golfers

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Part two of Jack Dillon's advice

As everyone of us pushes forward, looking for the light of a safe tomorrow, we in golf, also look for something special. Those in the game look for a repeat of the excitement and enthusiasm of the 2020 season. An enthusiasm not created by brands or by marketing, but by the need to be outdoors, and the opportunity of being with friends and family. The game was a grand walk (or ride) away from the everyday loneliness of a virus thrust upon the world by those looking for revenge, looking to upset the norms of life around the globe. Golf was on fire in 2020, and every golf operator wishes for a repeat in 2021. Throw in some outings, some events, and a robust food & beverage component, and the golf world becomes that place only spoken of during management meetings held early in any January.

In part one of this blog, I talked about the team, the golf course staff, and how to offer better support to them in 2021. Part 2 will focus on your customer, the golfer that supports your property, plays the rounds, buys the shirts, and grabs a bite after 18. Because the golf world was more blur than business in 2020, I am taking a step back with you, in order to suggest how properties can sharpen service with the person on the other side of your counter... your paying customer. They might be a member, an irregular guest, or a person in your community who plays a regular game with his/her group.This post offers 5 ideas to enhance the relationship with your golfers. Here are the highfives for part 2. These are ideas to think about, to test, to try:

  1. Continue to keep the property spotless. From the entrance through the 19th hole, offer a cleanliness, a shine, and an aroma that tells your golfers you care about their well-being, and the well-being of your staff members
  2. Educate your staff on a consistent service message, and method. Once you have trained the entire team, create a constant refresh, in order to keep it top of mind. As new staff arrive later in the season, set up a mentorship program where new staff is shadowed and trained by experienced team members
  3. Keep the day moving. No matter how busy the day, create the tone for the team to move the service along, to sidestep minor service rules or bottlenecks that may cause ill will or worse, lost customers
  4. Have your staff ask one question daily of as many customers as possible: “what is one thing I can do to make your experience at Club ABC better for you.” Make it personal, keep it to one simple question, and have staff record the answers
  5. Communicate good news, bad news, and future news about the club, in a timely way. Communicate where your golfers are. Do not assume all will get their club info from the club web site. Deliver your message in as many vehicles as makes sense for your golfers. Great communications can be a vital service asset for golf properties in 2021. When your customers are in the know, they can create their calendar with your property on it. 

Last year was a year to open the gates, take the credit card numbers, and keep the grass cut. This year, with new knowledge and preparation, you can set the tone early for a service standard that shows you care about the customer, their experience, their time, and fun! You have information to help create a solid success program, no matter how the year shakes out. After a year where courses were shuttered for weeks, and still had amazing numbers of people changing their shoes to play the game, you should be ready for a unique season ahead. Golf could have another very good year. How good, depends on vaccine distribution, local governments, your execution, and the willingness of people to come back once again to play the game, from any distance. How else can you help to flame the fires of success? If your club supports low cost instruction, my belief is many will play more. If you create special events for newcomers, friends, women, juniors, and families, you will have gone a long way to offering a wide menu of reasons to come back and to play again & again. Keep trying stuff. It is January, the wall is clean, fresh and ready for a swath of new, untested ideas to be tossed against it.


Jack Dillon writes the highfives series. This year starts the 11th year of this post, and Jack is deeply gratified by your readership. Jack is a coach, a speaker, merchant, and someone ready to help your team and your property excel in the new year. Contact Jack at: 407-973-6136, or at Jack lives in Orlando.

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