It seems that this year, the golf industry is really stepping up its service levels.
Before last year’s economic downturn, people maybe had the attitude of build it and they will come. Maybe, they thought that, `We’re doing pretty good here, so why change things? If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.’
I think that, in the last year-and-a-half, when people saw a decline in the golf business, they saw that the good operators, the good restaurants and even good mechanics still have good business even in the tough times.
At the Granite Club in Uxbridge, Ont., the kids are running at the bag drop. I asked somebody about that and was told that the kids actually take great pride in that. If you’re going to try and grab your clubs, the kids will run and try to get them before you.
That’s an example of how good service can make your facility memorable, which is important for the future. I think people are thinking that if we ever have a recession again, they want to be ready for it.
In the case of another economic downturn, they want people thinking, `I enjoy going to ABC golf course so much that, I may not play 20 rounds this year, but I’m going to play ABC because they really treat me right.’
Last year’s economy may have been a bit of a wake-up call. I’m not saying the golf industry takes its clients or guests for granted, but we do have to be on the ball because, if history repeats itself and it usually does, we’ve got to be ready for another downturn and make sure we’re not affected too much.
Service levels can play an important role in achieving that goal.