Training is important

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Training should not be something you must do or do in a hurry. Developing people takes people, time, and energy.

You and your team are preparing for a new season. The “tea leaves” are saying that this season (weather permitting), will be a lot like 2020, in terms of the number of rounds played and number of golfers. With professional golf now allowing fans at events, the energy and excitement may even surpass what the game experienced during the second half of last year. Even if the numbers fall a bit short of 2020, it should be another amazing year for the game, and your property.

As you inch closer to the first day of Spring, it will soon be time to bring in team members, both experienced, and new, preparing all for what is ahead. When you think about training staff for the new season, the amount of instruction can get rather long. From the Covid protocols, to understanding the property, to getting team members exposed to the game for those new to golf, the task is large. In addition, many clubs have team members ranging in age from teen years, all the way up to people in their 60’s, even 70’s! It certainly appears to be a daunting task.

The purpose of this post is to suggest going deeper with your training regiment. To provide a level of training that treats each staff member as if they were planning to stay aboard for decades. In treating every employee as a perspective life member of the staff, you will provide a deeper, fuller understanding not only of the individual roles, but of each department and how it is all designed to work together.

Training is important, more important than many organization make it out to be. If you decide to offer training from the basics manual only, and staff stays on, what will your service experience feel like? Why not develop a thorough program for every department? You know that any member of the team can create an experience that makes a golfer into a long term member, or a one-and-done greens fee. When every team member understands their role, as well as how they are to fit into the entire operation, the day of golf can be just as you designed it on that chalkboard. Today’s highfives post is about developing people, your people:

1)    The first day, the first week, and the first 30 days are vital to the attitude & performance of every team member. Treat every role as special, with extraordinary effort in days 1-30

2)    Set up as many team meetings as possible, throughout the first 30 days, and then again with your summer help arrives. No matter when a team member shows up on property, they should receive the same training

3)    Set up a mentor program for every new team member. First write up the mentor program you want to see executed, then set up teams to work together for the season. Tweak the program, when upgrades are necessary

4)    Expose your non-golfers to the game, the course, and the details beyond the business. Set up group meetings about the game, the language of golf, and walks on the course (off-hours, and with supervision)

5)    Work with the young and not so young team members together. Position them in the same meetings so they can begin to understand how each generation contributes to the success of the club. This one is about attitude.

Training should not be something you must do or do in a hurry. Developing people takes people, time, and energy. When team members understand their role, they gain confidence. When you have a group of confidant staff members, ready to help each other, your club and your golfer benefit. Take the time to be out and about: watch execution, and make note of what must be changed. Training is not a one-and-done sport, just as no new golfer breaks par after one large bucket of range balls. Once you have hired your best candidates, invest the real effort in making your club #1 in the community. After all, you are training to make your property great. Be patient, but also relentless in building your best season. This year may just be even better than 2020……will your team be prepared?


Jack Dillon writes the highfives series. Jack is a speaker, a coach, consultant, and an expert in all golf operations. He is also a merchant and experienced buyer. This month marks Jack’s 48th anniversary in the business. To build a better team and/or golf shop contact Jack at 407-973-6136, or at Jack lives in Orlando and is ready to set up a ZOOM call with you today.

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