Seasonal Preparation: Essential Tasks for Golf Course Managers
For golf fans, the start of a new season is the most wonderful time of the year. For course managers, it's a sign that it's time to get to work.
Maintaining a golf facility has a lot of moving parts. From improving the turf to marketing the course, the work will keep your hands full. If you do it right, you can offer the ideal customer experience.
Not sure where to start? We'll make it easy for you! Here are six tenets of golf course management that will help you keep your course in shape.
Golf course maintenance takes place during the off-season. Closing your course allows you to do many tasks you previously couldn't do.
One of these tasks is tuning up your machinery, equipment, and golf carts. These parts of the business are among the first ones your customers notice. As such, ensuring they're ready for the season ahead makes sense.
Most of your maintenance efforts will go toward mowing equipment. The green mower is the most important of the many mowers you use for the course. Many golfers judge a course by the quality of its greens.
You'll also need to check your equipment for cultivation, transport, pest management, and so on. For best results, keep an equipment usage log from the previous season to identify areas in need of improvement.
Staffing and Training
For your course to look its best, you need the right people to keep it in shape. The off-season is the perfect time to ensure this is the case.
Start by meeting with your leadership team before the season begins. Go through staffing needs across departments. If there are open positions to fill, market them to get employees who can answer your demands.
If you're not getting solid job applications, figure out why. Do you offer competitive wages and attractive benefits? Talk to your staff to confirm your work culture is positive and psychologically safe.
Once you're happy with your team, set them up for success. Make sure they understand all your systems and processes. If they need more training, use the time leading up to the season opener to work with them.
Pro Shop Experience
The mark of any golf course manager is the state of their facility's pro shop. This is a big part of creating a customer-focused culture.
How do you ensure your pro shop has everything your customers need? It all comes down to understanding your target audience. You can analyze your sales data to see what sells and what doesn't.
Also, don't neglect the layout of your shop. Create a easy path to get around while putting your best merch on show. Even someone who comes in for a shirt will look at other products if you've laid them out well.
If it makes financial sense, give the customers what they want. For instance, create some space to let them try a new putter. If they feel like using a demo club, allow them to do it on the range!
Food and Beverages
In golf, food and beverages are a big part of the customer experience. If you provide a high-standard service, this can be a major revenue source.
It all starts with the menu. Audit your current menu to figure out areas of improvement. If some dishes aren't ordered too often, ask yourself how to make them more appealing.
Are you using a POS terminal to sell your food and beverages? If so, verify that it's updated, easy to use, and integrated with your tee sheet. Check your dine-in and snack bar menus to confirm prices are consistent.
Finally, go through your food safety guidelines. Come up with protocols to measure food waste and ensure compliance across the facility. If possible, try to improve your food inventory management practices.
Rates and Pricing
With more and more people wanting to play golf, there's no better time to rethink your rates. Start by looking at last year's usage numbers.
First, consider your busiest periods on the course. Does it make sense to maximize revenue by charging more during these times? See how your competitors price their offerings and compare your rates to theirs.
Next, how do you get more bodies on the course during slower periods? As with most businesses, the answer lies in new memberships. Try investing in initiatives and discount periods to attract new customers.
Don't forget that more golf fans than ever are using online booking. Check your booking system to confirm it's intuitive and user-friendly. Ensure your booking widget is responsive and accessible from your home page.
When it comes to essential seasonal tasks, marketing is at the top of the list. Even a great course needs a marketing campaign that makes it look better.
Your first step should be to identify your marketing goals. This can be anything from increasing social media likes to boosting email subscribers. Focus on goals that will have a clear business impact on your course.
Consider which marketing channels are the right fit for your course. Tee time marketplaces, for instance, make a lot of sense for public and semi-private courses. Social media can be great for driving awareness as well.
Regardless of your marketing goals, promotions should be a part of it. Don't approach this process randomly. Instead, create a detailed and dedicated promotional calendar, then stick to it.
Golf Course Management Made Easy
These days, all golf courses invest in some form of seasonal preparation. At the end of the day, though, this isn't a new challenge. All you need to do is look at your management processes and improve them.
Interested in professional golf course management services? Our experts at Hampton Golf can improve your club's golfing experience! Contact us to see what we can do for your course.