When you’re in a certain business for a long time, a sense of comfort – and an unfortunate habit of making quick assumptions – tends to set in.
In the golf business, when someone shows up at your golf course, we assume that they know about golf… otherwise why would they be here, right? Well, we recently had an event that promptly put us on our toes, and reminded us about the necessity of good, pro-active communication:
A local company decided to treat their staff to a day on the golf course. Great! We love that. We promote that, and would like to grow that market.
Our tournament co-ordinator had everything organized in terms of tee times, carts, dinner, etc. What we weren’t ready for, was the number of people who had NEVER been on a golf course, had NO previous exposure to golf otherwise, and had absolutely NO IDEA about anything to do with golf.
“What hole, a hole? What’s a tee? Do you rent golf balls? Can we share clubs?”
We finally got everybody sorted out, did our best with the customer to put golfers and new golfers together, and held our breath as we watched people hit a ball 3 yards at a time.
- If it’s a group new to the golf course, ask pertinent questions to the person making the booking: are there any new or non-golfers in the event?
- If yes, can we suggest ways to make your event run more smoothly? (i.e., pick up the ball after a certain number of strokes, and proceed to putt)
- Can we offer a 30-minute clinic to the new golfers before they tee off, to help them with the rudiments of the golf swing?
Other ideas came out of this experience, but the important thing is “nipping it in the bud”… and don’t assume!