Browsing Golf Industry NewsVIEW ALL

Pace of Play – Improving the Golfing Experience

POSTED ON April 16, 2018 @ 9:51 am

By Bill Yates

In a previous article I noted that golf course management teams are in the business of not just welcoming guests and graciously dispatching them to the first tee, but of actually taking responsibility for their experience on the course. I’ll say again that the “product” of golf is that experience and the memory of that experience that the golfer takes away.

What are the most imperative key elements of a good golfing experience? Survey after survey has shown that players point to two things:

1) The physical condition of the course,

2) How smooth the round is; i.e. no frustrating backups, waiting, and playing delays.

If you’re a management team that can meet the challenge of delivering a beautiful and well-maintained course, and a round that’s not interrupted by delays which will destroy concentration and pleasure, consider yourself home free. You’re giving your players exactly what they’re begging for. If not, this article should help.

This business of improving the golf experience for players, which I’ve focused on for years, has surfaced a lot lately. A while back I was honored to be invited by the USGA to participate in a one-day “Golfer Experience” brainstorming session in New Jersey. The 38 participants included USGA staff members, golf course architects, state golf association representatives, member representatives from courses of all kinds, golf management company representatives, a PGA senior manager and the CEO of the NGCOA. In rotating breakout groups, we were tasked with looking at the game from the perspective of the players and identifying the areas where improvements of the playing experience could be made with the biggest impact.

I’d like to suggest that you do this too, at the individual course level, by gathering your staff together for a bit of brainstorming.

Here’s an interesting thing to include in your discussion: Over the years I’ve found that golf managers and staff members know a little too much about their courses. Huh? Yes, it’s true. Having all that in-depth knowledge about the course often means that you may not be able to see or experience the course as your players do, and that’s the kiss of death.

For example, every staff member knows how to get to the course, where to park, where the bag drop is and where you go to check in for your round. But many players at a public or resort course are seeing it all for the first time and don’t have a clue. Floundering around right at the start can lead to player frustration, late check-ins, a rush off the first tee and a poor start to the day. Not a good way to create a relaxing, fun experience for your playing guests.

You and your team can break down the process of playing golf on your course as I do when I work with a course, and as we did in the USGA session. Look at the following elements “through the eyes of your customers” in terms of their major steps and potential player concerns that result from your property’s layout and traditions, and your own management practices:

  • a) From home to the course,
  • b) At the course and before the round,
  • c) During the round,
  • d) Following the round.

Then ask yourselves:

  • What metrics do we use to measure our success in delivering a great playing experience?
  • Do we ask for and then act on player feedback?
  • What do we need to know about our players and their experience?
  • What should our players know in order to have a great experience?

Your return on this minor investment of time will lead to more satisfied and more loyal customers. After all, there are always buyers for a consistent and high quality, high value product.

About Bill Yates

Founder of the transformational Pace Manager Systems® suite, Bill has dedicated decades to the analysis of how managers can speed up play, improve the golf experience, and increase profits. He has helped hundreds of public, private, municipal and resort courses around the world lower their round times and improve customer value and revenue.

Bill also works with golf course architects and others who are designing, redesigning, or renovating a golf course. His Pace Designer Systems® optimizes the flow of play while the course is being built or rebuilt, and provides tools to manage play from opening day.

Bill is a frequent presenter at golf conferences and has been featured in every major golf publication. He has consulted with the courses at St Andrews in Scotland, the cradle of golf, and has assisted the Royal & Ancient Golf Club and the United States Golf Association in managing the pace of play for their Open Championships.

In 2016 Bill visited Australia when speaking at the Golf Business Forum. Golf Industry Central assisted Bill as he toured around the country working with clubs on some new training programs, improving the experience for members and guests.

 

Click here to read GIC e-Magazine Autumn 2018

Comments are closed.


CLICK HERE TO Sign Up for the GIC Newsletter for all the latest Industry News.

Please enter your details:

I am interested in:

  • News
  • Operations
  • Marketing
  • Recruitment / Jobs
  • Grow the Game
Golf Industry Central Grow the Game Central Golf Recruitment Central Golf Operations Central

Australian 2017 Golf club participation report released...

Earlier this week Golf Australia released their fifth...

Australian golfing legend elected Chairman of the PGA of Aus...

The PGA of Australia is delighted to announce...

Meet Australia’s fastest growing golf industry insurance &...

Australia’s fastest growing golf industry insurance and finance...

Meet Australia’s fastest growing golf industry insurance &...

Australia’s fastest growing golf industry insurance and finance provider, Golf Business Australia (GBA), is once again returning as a sponsor of the...

Iconic Melbourne clubs win Australian Open hosting rights...

Two of Australia’s most famous tournament venues have won the rights to host the 2020 and 2022 editions of the Australian Open....

Royal Opportunity for Junior Presidents Cup Participants...

Royal Melbourne Golf Club has been confirmed as the venue for next year’s Junior Presidents Cup. To be held on December 8-9,...

First BMI program to Aus club managers to be delivered in Oct 201...

GMA in partnership with Golf Australia and the Club Managers Association of America (CMAA) is excited to offer the first ever Business...

USGA, R&A have agreed to severely restrict green-reading boo...

The U.S. Golf Association and R&A plan to severely restrict the information allowed in green-reading books. Beginning Jan. 1,...

Mike Orloff interview on US Private Club Radio Show...

Earlier this week Mike Orloff, Founder and Managing Director of Golf Industry Central (GIC) joined Private Club Radio to...

Yangtze Dunes reopens near Shanghai following sweeping OCCM renov...

Yangtze Dunes, the newly renovated links course here at 36-hole Lanhai International Country Club, reopened to member play on...

Sentosa Golf Club Loses Its Bottles and Strengthens Commitment To...

Sentosa Golf Club is reaffirming its commitment to the environment and its ‘Keep it Green’ agenda by announcing that...

Sentosa Golf Club Loses Its Bottles and Strengthens Commitment To...

Sentosa Golf Club is reaffirming its commitment to the environment and its ‘Keep it Green’ agenda by announcing that...

NZ Golf CEO Dean Murphy wins coveted NZ leadership award...

New Zealand Golf CEO, Dean Murphy, was awarded the C.K. Doig Leadership Award during the annual New Zealand Sport...