Advantages in the neighborhood

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Be an asset to your community by giving its residents and businesses a reason to come.

Although there are resorts, and golf clubs that hold a special significance throughout the country, most rounds of golf are played in the community where golfers live and work. As a small business, the golf course strives to build success from year to year, while working through the many potholes that seem to remain a constant challenge. As a property leader, you watch the numbers daily, as you work to create an experience that more than fits the budget and expectations of your customers. At the same time, you look for ways to attract new golfers as you and your team work hard to add loyalty from every round. Think about your advantages. Really! This post offers up 5 ideas about your property, the locale, and how to nurture the area around your business.

 The dream of every golf course manager is to have full membership, a full tee sheet, or a line of golfers out the door, ready to play. Although this post cannot make those guarantees, it can show you ways to bring more of a focus onto your property and become a more important part of the local community. Here are the highfive thoughts:

  1. With thousands of residents and probably dozens and dozens of businesses, both small and large all around you, the opportunity can be right there in front of the eyes. If you have a course open to the public, you can create a vast calendar with ways to bring people onto the property
  2. At the same time, you and your marketing/sales people can go out and see how you can develop relationships and programs with your very local business community. Sometimes I believe it can be a matter only of an invitation, that can stir the interest. The more you can bring people onto the property, the better the opportunity to sell from your entire menu of assets
  3. Create family events to bring Mom, Dad and the kids onto the property. Advertise in the community magazine, and show your commitment to your neighbors, to all around your business
  4. During the summer months, when the days are long, set up a meals-to-go program. Test two evenings where you offer a late-afternoon 9 holes and take home dinner for four. Offer 2 different entrees with the fixings, all for a set price. Market this to all of your golfers. Offer people the chance to play more and cook less, all with good golf, good food, and less work
  5. Set up the club calendar with as many community days/nights as you can manage. Most people do not play golf because they are not exposed to the game, and they would never dream of starting alone. At the same time, many in the community would not envision having a meal or special event at the club. It should begin with you, a conversation followed by an invitation.

Getting people onto the property is a real big step in creating new customers. From golf learning programs for everyone in the family, to parties, weddings, family nights and business meetings, the property can play a larger role in the community. From developing healthy golf and exercise programs, to helping the spirit of the neighborhood through community meetings on site, your club can hold a much loftier place, all while growing your business where it can matter the most. I believe the reason we don’t see more clubs at the center of their community is because it is hard work. It takes time, patience, practice, and persistence to develop and export this idea. The assets are in the community. You can create many advantages, all right there … in the neighborhood. Thank you.

Jack Dillon is an Orlando-based writer of the highfives series and is a speaker and an expert in hospitality, merchandise and people coaching. He has been in this industry for more than 45 years. Contact him at 407-973-6136.

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