Golf Pro’s admit service levels are lacking

Nine out of 10 golf professionals feel more could be done to improve customer service levels at golf clubs.

That staggering assessment of the state of the industry followed an audience vote during a seminar at the Golf Show 2013, in Harrogate, by 59Club, Europe’s leading golf-specific mystery shopper service.

In an interactive seminar attended by more than 70 PGA professionals, 59Club directors, Simon Wordsworth and Matt Roberts, shared key customer service trends and insights into best practice at Europe’s leading golf trade show and educational event.

The presentation was packed with around 25 key trends, particularly identifying the experience of visiting golfers, either as an initial group enquiry or through to an actual visit. Highlights included:


  • Eight per cent of golf venues offer added value services on an initial enquiry. The very best do this 75 per cent of the time.
  • 13 per cent of venues offer to provisionally reserve space when an initial enquiry is made. The best clubs do this 75 per cent of the time.
  • One in 20 golf clubs will stay in touch with a prospective client following an initial enquiry. The best do this on four out of five occasions.
  • When using the clubhouse facilities, a staff member offered to upsell a food and beverage item (i.e. coffee, dessert or extra drink) 15 per cent of the time. The best do this 31 per cent of the time.
  • Where applicable, 12 per cent of clubs ask if a visitor would like to hire a buggy or electric trolley. The best offer this 75 per cent of the time.
  • A member of staff will try to upsell the visitor a small item such as course guides, pack of tees, sleeve of balls or similar during one of every 10 customer interactions in the shop. The best do so on two out of every five occasions.

The 59Club service, a PGA Official Supplier, is fast becoming the industry standard for measuring and comparing customer-service levels and analysing all key revenue streams for golf venues and is committed to the on-going development of club managers and PGA professionals.

The unique benchmarking and training service has already benefited hundreds of PGA members and golf course operators, who utilise the company’s performance analysis tools to enable managers to compare their standards of customer service and facility offerings to those perceived as their main competitors.

Simon Wordsworth, chief executive at 59Club and a fellow of the PGA, said: “Just in the few areas we identified in the seminar, the average golf venue could be losing more than £2,000 worth of revenue per week. These statistics are based, not on our opinions, but on the experiences of real golfers, and give a very clear picture of what is happening at golf clubs across the UK.

“Key personnel within the club, including PGA Professionals have the ability and knowledge to treat this level of information, with the respect it deserves and use it to drive positive change and improve service levels and profits both in their business or for their employing club.”

Run by an experienced team of golf and leisure operators, the 59Club system allows for useful results comparisons to be made against a venue’s chosen competitors and the industry standard.

59Club boasts an impressive client list in the UK and Middle East, including Wentworth, Stoke Park, Celtic Manor, Goodwood, Emirates Golf Club and Dubai Creek as well as golf groups such as DeVere and Marriott.

The core service includes a series of mystery shopper recorded enquiry calls and live visits, followed up with regular analysis and training to ensure venues can identify trends and improve, or maintain, service standards.