It may seem tough for an already busy manager to find a few extra hours each week to spend on the first tee welcoming players to their facility. You would be surprised though on how much this extra time can actually save you in dealing with future staff and operational issues, and can financially reap extra dividends for your facility’s bottom line.
Once a week at your busiest player times (spread this around so you are not seeing the same players each week), schedule yourself to be at your first tee to meet and greet members and players as they arrive to hit off for the day. They may be surprised to see the General Manager (they usually think they did something wrong!), but once you start chatting with them they will typically lower their guard and tell you what is on their mind, good and bad. This is the perfect time to find out about any issues that may be occurring at the facility, meet potential new members, and also to market an upcoming event or program. Members really appreciate a highly visible General Manager, even though you probably are at the club many hours each week making sure their positive experience is occurring daily, they still would like to see you.
Spread the load by having each of your Department Heads rotate each week and spend a couple hours on the first tee as well. Members and guests get to meet the people in charge and will often give you invaluable feedback about the operation or reveal something they may be uncomfortable to talk to the GM about. Your Department Heads will enjoy the break in their normal routine.
This proactive communication bonds relationships with members and staff, and will create loyalty within several areas of your operation. It is part of the ‘member connect’ strategy that I wrote about in a previous weekly tip. (Click here How to connect your members so they stay longer)
Six things to do while at the First Tee:
1) Get email addresses from every player for future marketing campaigns,
2) Meet guests who potentially could become a new member,
3) Personally invite or remind members of upcoming events at the club,
4) Allow players to try demo clubs while on the course (if not a competition time) – this may end up being additional revenue in pro shop
5) Have a one-on-one discussion with your valuable customers to get insight into their experience at the club
6) Generally communicate what is going on at the club – many members may not read your newsletter.
If you have extra time, schedule to play with a different group of members each month, or drive around the course to say hello and buy a group some drinks. You can do this with your course superintendent while you are reviewing the golf course conditions. Everyone benefits from this and by doing so you will improve communications to all parties involved and generate some new marketing opportunities. This is also a great way to find out about prospective members that may want to join the club.
Written by Mike Orloff- Director Golf Industry Central
© Copyright Golf Industry Central September 2008