Simple wins for busy times

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Every golf course operator is “anxiously” looking forward to another year of golf. In fact, everyone of us connected to the game hopes we see a repeat of the rounds and tee sheet results of 2020. At the same time, I know everyone from course operators to golf sales reps are looking forward to the return of the golf outing. Just like the end results of the last six months of 2020, operators feel somewhat nervous about what to expect beginning in the spring. This highfives post is assuming the best: another amazing year at your property. This post assumes you and your team will be so busy with the everyday efforts of sanitizing together with great service that big ideas, and large project plans once discussed will be put to the side. This highfives post is filled with easy and simple things to try, assuming the staff will have no time for any major changes, because the tee sheet may again be void of white space.

Here are five simple ideas to think about incorporating into the golf day this season. They will require a bit of discipline and commitment to execute. Understanding there will be new golfers coming, as well as many golfers with little experience, some thoughts here are directed at making the day of golf at your club, comfortable, fun, enjoyable, without the grand frustrations normally associated with our game. Here are my five thoughts to test and try, the highfives post:

1)    In your staff meetings, instruct the team to concentrate on solid eye contact, a smile, offering a “good morning” etc, to every golfer. Making customers feel like guests in your home is essential in building repeat business, great referrals, and friends coming along to play next time because they want to

2)    Teach the staff to talk to the golfers. Have them ask golfers questions, taking time to listen, while making all feel good about your club. Good listen is about heads up with a warm smile: all about a strategy of helping golfers feel at ease

3)    Create educational sessions for the golfers, especially the many new players. Forty-five minute sessions on equipment, rules, and the etiquette of the game is great for golfers and good for your business. Training new golfers to come to your property is part of building loyalty. These added value educational pieces can be tremendous add-ons

4)    Try a walking seminar. For anyone new to the game, set up a walking “tour” of a few holes on the course, without clubs. If you can, include a par 3, 4 and 5. The idea is to show these new players the best ways to approach each hole, the descriptive words for each part of the hole, and then ways to play each hole type. Conducting these early mornings on the back side, or late in the day works well. The right size can be from 8-15.

5)    Develop a mentoring program for new golfers. We all people new to the game get frustrated rather fast. At the same time, if these new golfers have a passion to play but no family or friends to play with, a golfer lost, never to return might be the result. Talk to your regulars, asking them to get involved with your program. Offer them something small but nice as a reward for their efforts. Getting new golfers to the course often, from the start of their introduction is essential to the goal of creating a golfer. This is a program that will need tight oversight and of course local tweaking. Give it to one of your team members.

There they are: five simple ideas for a cold day in February. As you plan out your year, think about all of the players you entertained in 2020. Think as well, about the many new faces you will see again in the coming months. Try ideas specific to the variety of customers: women, juniors, families, etc. To grow the game, we should create programs that get people to play better, gain friends, and learn beyond the 18th green. Try stuff, lots of stuff that may just become part of the menu for your success. Keep things simple, no matter how busy you are. Make sure the entire team thinks and then creates as a new golfer. Thank you.


Jack Dillon writes the highfives series. This is the 11th year for this post. Jack is a trainer, a speaker, a merchant. Jack understands operations, purchasing, and service….from the ground up. Reach out to Jack at or at 407-973-6136. Jack’s calendar is filling up. Contact him soon to learn how his ideas can help your property this season. Jack lives in Orlando.

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