GOLF COURSE EXPERIENCE
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, 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 the number of cars and license plates to become aware of who the customers are, and from which states they have traveled.
- 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
- Warm-up, practice, and instruction area: unobstructed, inviting, and spacious. Range has available practice balls and ball baskets; accurate distance markers and golf balls are visible from the teeing area; distances are marked at teeing area and changed as teeing area turf is managed; putting green accommodates several golfers; short game area has targets at 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 yards; and a bunker that allows sand shots to be made either to the range or to a safe putting green is available.
- 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; and present are flyers offering golf lessons, clinics, demonstrations, seminars, and golf car service.
- 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. A suggestion box is clearly visible.
- 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. The feeling is that of a guest, perhaps one of the family, not just a number.
- 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.” Folks do not remember what you did or what you said. They remember how you made them feel.
- 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. Stop what you are doing, breathe deep, be, become and feel the emotional experiences! Have a nice round of golf!