Gratitude when we need it most

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Jack Dillon shares his five tips on how you can express gratitude at your club

It is the time of year where we all take a peek in our own rearview mirrors, consider the kind of year it has been, and show and share our gratitude with those we love, as well as those who need our love. The year as we all know, has been that one-in-a-century kind of year. Inside our industry, what began as something worse than a disaster during the critical opening of the season, has turned into something most of us continue to shake our heads about in amazement and disbelief. Starting in May, this country decided that golf was its official sport, especially for keeping distance socially, and acquiring some much needed exercise. The numbers have been shocking most of my peers for months, topped only by the stories of new golfers, returning golfers, and reports of no tee times remaining at the Inn.

Because this season of success has been condensed into barely six months, we can only imagine how hard you and everyone in the world of golf course operations has worked. Just like the major sports leagues, recreational golf had to find its legs and finish the year in much less time than the golf gods usually provide. Even the weather channel cooperated in order for all to play their appointed rounds. This highfives post is a thank you to you and everyone who made this a grand year of hospitality, in a year when no hospitality was permitted. You all came through and made it work. The pandemic lingers, but there are bright lights ahead, indicating better days are coming. This post is also a reminder that success takes many people moving in sync to make it work at all levels. Here are my highfives and thoughts on gratitude:

  1. Thank your golfers: regular customers, returning customers, and brand new, out of the box customers. Be certain to show your thanks for every round played in 2020
  2. Thank the superintendent and the crew working the golf course. In a year, most knew little about the highly contagious virus we could not see, smell or touch, these folks did their jobs, worked hard to keep the courses green, while doing it without fanfare
  3. Thank the suppliers, transportation folks, and everyone in the wider community that touches your business. It takes many people to create a winner, and so many times these people go about their jobs minus any recognition or figurative pat on the back
  4. Take the time to think through this season, to understand what you had to go through to keep the doors open. With rules being changed by local and state governments as often as I change putters, you kept the focus on your team and your golfers, while only pretending to scream a few times each day. Give yourself a standing ovation
  5. Finally, thank your staff, the people who risked everything to make the season work. They might have come to work because they had to, but there was fear every day because they just weren’t sure what they might be bringing home to family members. They came to work, did their work, and made the system roll despite their oversized bag of daily worries.

No doubt we will remember this year in golf. I am certain a book or two will appear at some point to talk about the year in which the world could not get enough golf. There will be time to plan for the future, the time we can remove our mask, and think about just getting back to normal. Before you roll out the 2021 budgets, stop and thank. Thank everyone on your team, as well as the wider circle of your business. In addition, remember to say thanks to your family, and the families of your entire staff. Essential is the most used, understated word of the year. You were all essential because the world wanted to play. The world in 2020 needed to play, and you were there. Thank you. 

Jack Dillon writes the highfives series. Jack is a speaker and an expert in operations, merchandise, coaching, and making people better. This year marks the 10th year of the highfives post.  Jack lives in Orlando. Reach Jack at 407-973-6136 or at to help you build a better business.


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