"Perception is all there is"

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Welcome to the High Fives; five ideas to improve golf! 

What are your beliefs about your business?  What do you think about each day as you operate the golf course and work to offer a unique experience to your golfers?  What is different about the way you operate the business from last year, or three years ago?  More importantly, how does your golfer feel about your business.  I believe it is time to get real, to be honest and get to the core of how people feel about your business and the game.  Although we work to deal with the realities of daily life, we all know that perception is all there is.  Do you know what your golfer thinks about your course, your people, your service?  Do you spend part of your day mining for answers behind the smiles.  Look, we all know the game has suffered, and for so much longer than the global recession.  But your concern is your business, your operation, and your customers.  I offer the idea of becoming your own non-secret shopper.  It is time to learn all we need to know.  It is time to talk to your golfers in the clubhouse, as well as the 1st tee and 18th green.  It is time to find out the truth about your business through "their" eyes.  This is the year to change perception!

Golf is too costly, it is too time consuming, and it is far too difficult!  I heard these words this week from my 20something son who used to play the game as a college student.  He is now a well paid professional, and those are his beliefs.  Fact; I believe we have a perception problem and few of us are doing anything about it.  So here are five thoughts about change;

  1. Create Community Days for your facility.  A day at the course for a very nominal fee co-sponsored by several local businesses
  2. Free group clinics.  Invite non-golfers to learn about your business by learning the game, for free!  Use your Professional staff during off times of the day, three days a week
  3. Value Nights; A nice meal with golf talk from your team.  You are now creating ways to win!
  4. Family evenings; allow the entire family to come out and play 3 to 6 holes for one price.  Include a mac & cheese meal or have P/B and J nights.  Building and giving back.
  5. Devote the year to improving their game. Create programs that focus on helping all of your customers to play better (they will play more), for low, low prices.  Create a three year plan to build their game.....and of course make it FUN!

Jack Dillon



All of the negative perceptions remain prominent because WE in the INDUSTRY keep talking about them non-stop. We as an industry need to focus on the positive and keep focused on the positive until it becomes the new perception. If you want people to join your clubs or play golf at your facility then tell them about what is great at your club. Focus on the new family oriented programs, focus on the improvements that your facility can afford to make and the positive programs you can launch. Everyone knows what the issues are in the world today and they want to come to the golf club to get away from it. LET THEM! Turn the TV in the bar off news & financial channels and set it to the Golf Channel or ESPN and leave it there. Quit being part of the perception problem and replace the negative comments with positive ones and start a positive outlook for the future. Who knows it may catch on. It has at our club and our future is bright!

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