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An “assembly line” is one way to view the golf course experience.

The sun rises, the gates open, management and staff arrive, and another day begins. The golf course is like an amusement park that, from the entrance, winds the customer around a series of themes to a thrilling conclusion upon departure.

Every point of contact is essential. The design and layout of the clubhouse and pro shop define the experience likely to be encountered. The bag drop, obtaining a cart, the range, starter, golf course, cart return, and the restaurant and bar — all are elements that provide the opportunity to define the customer experience.

Creating a superior customer experience through consistent execution is the only way to guarantee survival in today’s competitive market. Few golfers know how much hard work is needed to create that efficient golf operation. The counter staff plays infrequently and rarely has time to hit balls at the range before or after their shift.

Golfers race from the parking lot and hastily put on their shoes, perhaps not even stopping to tie them. They walk into the pro shop, looking at the staff person behind the counter and think, “They have such a life. They work at this beautiful golf course, play all
the time, and are accomplished golfers. They have it made. What a life!”

What differentiates one course from another regarding a customer experience? Each touchpoint defines the total experience, and it starts with a golfer’s decision about which course to play

Click here to photographs of some of the best practices seen.  One of the features highlighted is timeliness, as seen in
the Labyrinth at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Oregon.

Mike Keiser envisioned this walking trail as a memorial to his good friend Howard McKee. As you enter the area, a message on a stone reads,

  • “The labyrinth is a metaphor for our journey through life. Its path leads toward an inner light, to the center of ourselves and the center of the sacred, one and the same. Its direction, at times, is confusing, taking us around, and then back again. Yet, it is through this circular journey of discovery and growth that we reconnect where we once began. “In memory of Howard McKee, whose own journey through the labyrinth contributed to the vision and experience that is Bandon Dunes. “This is a replica of the labyrinth in Chartres Cathedral, France,
    dated 1194–1220.”

I would guess that less than 5% of Bandon’s visitors know the labyrinth exists, and far fewer have visited it.

What makes it unique? It resonates with our emotions as a human being. The connection with another, a fond feeling, and respect — they all define our needs for socialization. This need is universal — in the United States and worldwide. Wanting to ensure that this book reflects current trends, we have assembled a list of new best practices seen since 2016 in traveling to golf courses worldwide.

We have tried to emphasize that the “assembly line of golf” in the United States,  and well as throughout the world, is consistent in defining the customer experience. Therefore, we have created a template that can guide golf course personnel in enhancing the customer experience. How does your facilitate rate?

Author:  James J. Keegan, Envisioning Strategist, and Reality Mentor.  His sixth book, “The Winning Playbook for Golf Courses: Shorts-Cuts for Long-Term Financial Success,” was released on June 20, 2020, Click Here.  Keegan was named one of the Top 10 Golf Consultants and Golf Advisor of the Year in 2017 by Golf, Inc. Keegan has traveled more than 2,996,000 miles on United Airlines, visiting over 250 courses annually and meeting with owners and key management personnel at more than 6,000 courses in 58 countries.  Click here

© 2021, JJKeegan+

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