I must admit right up front that this column will likely resonate most with clubs “up north,” as they gear up for the much-anticipated return of warmer temperatures.
Days are getting longer. Golf is back on television. The Masters Tournament is right around the corner. More importantly, golfers living above the Mason-Dixon line are itching to hit the links.
Finally, another season of golf, recreation, and camaraderie is in sight. Members and guests you haven’t seen in months will soon be walking through the doors and getting re-acquainted cheerfully with one another, with you, and with their club.
The smell of spring is in the air. And the frenetic activity that is certain to be part of another season has your club buzzing again with life.
What a perfect opportunity to also get people jazzed up about the changes that you and your staff have helped to make at the property since the end of last season. You certainly haven’t been idle during the offseason, and you should take rightful pride in the latest contributions you’ve made to improve the look, feel and experience of day-to-day life at your club.
Let’s be honest. It’s no secret that club members and guests are the best resource for referrals and leads for new business. So unless you are blessed with the luxury of a wait list, maxed-out tee sheets or full dining room reservation logs, anything you can do to encourage your existing customer base to help promote all of your property’s benefits will only work to your advantage.
That means the question, “What’s new?” shouldn’t be treated too casually. Helping members and guests fully recognize—and appreciate—what you’ve done for them will only help the club’s cause (and your own).
Short of a major renovation to the clubhouse, course, or other parts of the facilities, odds are the investments you’ve made are in more discrete areas that may not be so obvious.
Newsletters and e-mails are great for promoting what’s new. But there is no substitute for a personal “show and tell.” I have toured many clubs with a general manager who exudes confidence and infectious enthusiasm while pointing out the hows, whys and benefits of changes that have been made to help drive revenues, reduce operating costs, and enhance member and guest satisfaction.
Not surprisingly, the staff we run into while on these tours are equally enthusiastic about the new state of affairs in their particular areas of responsibility. Pride in a job well done can be contagious.
When it comes to club economics, it’s all about keeping the members and guests happy that you already have. When you do that, odds are good that others will want to follow. So set aside the time to brag a little, and make it a point to make sure everyone knows how, where and why their money has been spent.
It will generate the absolute best return on your investment.
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