Steve Bird, Business Development Consultant, Foremost Golf, explains how important it is to be heavily involved in the day-to-day life of your golf club.
A forward thinking, proactive golf professional has always been a huge asset to any golf club, but the months that lie ahead will emphasise this point more than ever before. The cost of living & trading and the presence of significant economic headwinds will mean an effective pro (and pro shop team) will be essential to maintaining the momentum of golf clubs, memberships and the sport in general in the coming years.
The following four areas will be critical areas of focus:
A significant number of people will need to make financial sacrifices over the coming months and golf is not immune. We need to make sure that their golf membership is the last thing somebody looks to cut, not the first. No department is better placed in a golf club to regularly engage with these members, integrate them into the fabric of the club and make them feel part of a community than the pro shop team. Those professionals that regularly host events, play golf with different members and go above and beyond to make the atmosphere around the golf club like a second home will help retain current members and also support new members with their integration into the community of the golf club.
The First Impression
It really matters. The pro shop is the first port of call at most golf clubs and it sets the tone for the whole customer experience. A friendly greeting with a clean, professional, well ordered environment will make a great impression on a new prospective member and also instil a sense of pride in an existing member. A forward thinking golf professional knows that this professionalism goes far beyond a successful retail business and elevates the entire golf club experience.
As well as creating a community at the golf club, an extremely important facet of the modern golf professional is to create a digital community too. Being able to regularly engage with members when they are not at the golf course is essential. Without this, golfers are susceptible to marketing from rival retailers, coaches and golf clubs. This need not be a scary prospect for pro’s though. Retail groups like Foremost make it easy to communicate using email, websites and social media – even for pro’s with no marketing experience or resource. Don’t let your competitors have a free run at your customers.
A Thriving Pro Shop Benefits Everybody
A friendly, well informed pro shop team that provide a professional service, good retail choice, expert coaching and great value for money will reflect positively on the club as a whole and not give members a reason to go anywhere else. Although often separate businesses, pro shop teams and golf clubs share the same common goal and when they work together, it significantly elevates the golfer experience. GR