Have been reflecting on memorable golf course “brand” experiences over the years; and impression and guest service rise to the top of the heap of sensual brand attributes that create a residual, ego-mind thirst to return.
Impression: clean, well-maintained and fun place to be because it inspires a “feel good” sensation.
- Grounds and facilities: plush green turf and well-manicured landscape; parking lot is clean, well-striped and has a good surface: note number of cars.
- Signage and identification: useful—what and/or where, in good taste and well-placed: parking, bag drop, club house, rest rooms; warm-up, practice and instruction area; practice golf balls; 1st and 10th tees.
- Warm-up, practice and instruction area: unobstructed, inviting and spacious. Range has accurate distance markers; putting green accommodates several golfers; and short game area has targets and a bunker that allows sand shots either to the range or to a putting green.
- Pro shop: customer friendly with open and spacious feel. Has good selection, tasteful merchandising and new merchandise from recognized manufacturers; offers club fitting, club storage and club repair services; present are flyers offering golf lessons, clinics, demonstrations and seminars.
- Postings and feedback requests: today’s pin locations are visibly posted; local rules, pace-of-play and etiquette reminders are posted and available as handouts for golfers. Guest service evaluation surveys are available at check-in counter.
- Food and beverage area: organized, attractive, clean and not cluttered. Menu is visible and inviting.
- Course: flat, well-groomed teeing grounds with attractive hole number markers, ball washers and tee markers; good greens, fairways and roughs; manicured and recently maintained bunkers with good rakes; and course is free of mixed grasses and weeds.
- Drinking fountains and rest rooms: clean, well-maintained and well-serviced.
- Maintenance facility: not cluttered and organization is noteworthy; equipment is clean, not worn-out, appears serviceable and expresses pride of mechanics and groundskeepers.
Guest service: guests are well taken care of by professional, experienced, courteous staff who pay attention to details that make sparkling, positive and lasting guest experiences.
- Initial contact and attitude: friendly, upbeat, happy and enthusiastic. Individuals make eye contact, smile, greet, enquire, offer products and services, respond to requests, follow-up and do not make excuses and blame others. Reminds of Tolstoy’s diary comment, “I cannot describe a person to you; however, I call tell you what effect he (she) has on me.”
- Leadership and management: impression and felt energy that is witnessed.
A round of golf is a simple “slice of life” and a field of friendly strife where seeds are planted to bear fruits at future times and places. George Heard, a great golf partner and friend, always said on the first tee, “Golf is just a slice of heaven.” Simply embrace the challenge and opportunity for perfect response to life, or heaven on earth.