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Growth is the word in business today.  A business must grow or be left to shrink and disappear in time.  Working to grow new customers, and build each as a long asset is not an easy thing to do for any business today.  The competition is fierce, and for many it is virtual.  Golf has its own set of challenges.  Time is as great a challenge as any for the game, but we also know as the greatest game, it will continue to have loyal fans.  However, with life in 2015 very different than when golf grew large, we should look at different ways to build new and long-term golfers.  Whether you have one facility or are part of a large organization, growth should be a part of your business plan all season long.

  One of the things I have learned over time, both as a golfer, and as a golf working bee, is that we crave to play more when we are playing well, and we hide the clubs when the game disappears.    We want only to put our A game on display.  As an organization, needing to grow as with any business, I am sure you are always searching for the magic bullet.  I have an idea that may work for you and your golfers. Most golf facilities have golf professionals on staff.  They have been trained in the area of teaching and instruction.  Yet, so few golfers ever take a lesson.  They find cheaper ways to build a game albeit, a very poor choice.  One way to build traffic, growing with both new and mature golfers, is through a very different learning program.  You can become that facility in town that offers a real difference for any golfer.  Teach them for free!

  Here are 5 thoughts to driving more golfers through your door with a unique learning program:

  1. Create an incentive program for your golf professionals based on growth of rounds, dollars, and category sales.  Making them a real part of the solution create a great team push
  2. Build a new golfer learning program based on group instruction.  The club will still offer private lessons, but this program is based on group learning
  3. Have vendor partners come in and listen to your plan.  You can gain sponsorships, free clubs for new player use, and a great outside support system
  4. Offer group instructions in the long and short game, eventually breaking down classes based on progress.  Be certain to have on-course instruction as well
  5. For the experienced golfers, intense short game group clinics, with small fees, can help improve their game, and build loyalty for your facility.  Your range sales will have strong growth through these programs.

  Helping people enter the game, play better as they go along, while offering a very real way to play well, can be your secret sauce, your strong differentiation in the market place.  Golfers will stick with your program, your professionals, and your facility.  As beginners grow through your program, offer continuing group instruction with nominal fees.  Growing a program where people can truly learn the game, while making your professionals your partners in growth, can be your win-win in an industry where growth has become the odd word out.  Once you have grown a golfer, it is then up to you to build a long term, loyal asset.  Helping people enjoy the game......what a nice way to improve the business.  This post is part of the series, improving operations.

Jack Dillon writes the highfives series.  Jack is a golf shop expert with 40 plus years experience in the game.  Jack is an Advanced Speaker and a member of Toastmasters International.  He also understands growing the game and the woman consumer.  You can reach Jack at or by phone at 407-973-6136.  Jack lives in Orlando, Florida. 



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