It’s about this time of year that golfers and people within the industry start to feel a little spring fever.
The phones are beginning to ring, people are starting to ask about opening day, even if it won’t be tomorrow. We’re getting down to the wire, at least in Ontario, and we’re probably looking at a month or five weeks before we might open.
It’s kind of exciting for people in our business. Everyone’s got their staffing in mind and they’ve got the buying for their shops done. Little things like the scorecards and tees are in order as the season approaches.
We’re down to the final stretch. In November, you can kind of breathe a little and say, `Yeah, I’ll get those things done,’ but now, everyone’s getting ready and there’s an energy within the golf industry.
This time of year, I’m trying to solidify my staff – that’s huge. Besides staffing, I’m making sure that orders are done and pro shop inventory is ready. It’s the old adage about making a good first impression and that’s important at the beginning of each season.
I usually try to do something a little different each year, maybe change the pro shop a little or add new apparel. This year, we’re putting in new lockers here and there.
When people walk in, I like to have some little differences that they notice. I like to mix it up a little in the pro shop or the food and beverage area, offer a bit of a new look so members go `Wow, in the off-season, you’ve put some thought into this.’
In our pro shop, we’re going to put some new décor in. Dennis Firth, who joined us a couple of months ago, is doing a great job for us. Dennis has really taken the ball on this, which is great.
He’s got some new fixtures ordered and some new merchandising ideas, so I think when the members walk in, they’re going to see a difference in the pro shop and last year, the pro shop was nice, but this year, I think they’ll be amazed with our new merchandising and the way the shop looks.
We also have some changes planned for food and beverage, as well.
It doesn’t have to be major changes, just subtle differences that make members realize that you’re working to offer them a better experience each year.