Presentation matters: Pay attention to these five areas

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The golf business is a challenge. No revelation in that statement. Course condition issues, weather, competition, and so many options for your customers that take far less time in this world where time seems to keep shrinking.  One of the constants in this business is controlling costs, especially payroll.  In order to make money, the payroll like other expenses needs to be managed daily. On the other side, the mission of the course manager is to provide a fun, warm experience for all golfers: men, women and juniors. To do that you need people. These people must have the skills to provide an experience that leaves the golfer wanting more of the same.  Their goal should be to make golf, and your property, the distraction of choice whenever time and opportunity knocks.

It takes people to create the soft, sweet spot in the middle, a great experience: providing all of the attributes we would want as golfers. As you manage the balance between controlling costs and creating joy, remember presentation. Presentation is so many things, from a clean parking lot with proper signage, to staff members that are well presented, right down to their shoes. When the presentation is right, golfers feel it.  They sense it in many ways. Here are five thoughts about presentation and why it matters:

1)    Great presentation begins with people. The team is dressed well with good grooming, shoes shined, and clothing in order, including name badges. From their look to how they serve, staff will always make the largest impression. They will drive loyalty

2)    Start at the beginning, making certain your parking lot is safe and open with proper signage. Sometimes, we are so used to our surroundings, we rarely see what others see.  Look at your property with fresh eyes, and ask your team to do the same

3)    Meet with your managers to review every sign on the property, the restaurant menus, and all collateral. Is this detail easy to read and understand? With so many people 55 and older playing golf, you must also make certain font size works for them. You never insult a young person with larger font, but the opposite will cost you members

4)    How is the golf course presented? Is it easy to follow from hole to hole?  Are hazards designated so the golfer has proper warning of how to play the hole? Whether walking or riding, look at things from a new golfers’ point of view. Does the layout make sense?

5)    Be certain to do a presentation study of your property from a women’s point of view.  From the red tees, is it easy to navigate the course? Are the key areas of the clubhouse easy to find? Are staff members easy to locate for questions? Does the property look and smell fresh? Never take the viewpoint of a man to answer for women golfers.

Creating an experience that is presented well for men and women of all age groups is vital as you work to keep the property and the game top of mind for all who want to play and enjoy. There are things that can probably be cut from your budget, but I urge you to overspend on presentation, and the things it represents. A fresh, clean facility with a smart, observant staff, and an easy to navigate property should position your club at the top in your community. From the property entrance to the 18th green, be certain to inspect what you expect, and do it often. The rewards will be the result of your diligence, discipline, and obsession with making the time, the best investment for your members and guests. A great presentation takes hard work. That is the advantage you will have over other businesses in your community. Doing the work well will pay off for all who want to play the game, and for you.

Jack Dillon, an Orlando, Florida-based speaker and consultant, is the author of the highfives series. He has been in the golf industry for more than 45 years. He is an expert in operations, merchandise, hospitality, and growing people and can be contacted 407-973-6136. He is available to help your property.

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