As golf professionals, we need to ask ourselves are we trying to help our members and customers get better at the game? Are we trying to provide opportunities for them to get better? On the other hand, maybe they don’t want to get better.
For those who do want to get better, we need to commit ourselves to getting them better, but for those who play socially, we need to create programs for those people, as well. I’ve assumed in the past that people naturally want to improve their games, but that isn’t always the case.
Not everybody wants to be a four handicap. There are people who will say, `I don’t want to work that hard and I’m fine being a 15,’ so there needs should be addressed, the same as others who do want to improve. The key is asking the right questions.
When it comes to handicap, somebody might say he or she is a 15 and would like to be a 12, but not a four because that person doesn’t have the time to be a four or doesn’t want to pay to become a four. Maybe, that person doesn’t want to upgrade equipment to become a four.
That might go against our natural instincts in golf, but it’s that person’s choice and whatever the goal is, we’re not going to keep them around our golf facilities very long if we can’t provide what they’re looking for from golf.
You’ve got people who play in a few corporate tournaments each year and are happy if they’re not just hacking it around the golf course. Somebody might just be happy playing Friday afternoons and coming in for a beer and a burger afterwards.
There’s no point in trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, even if we do think we can force the issue. Asking the right questions and accepting what they’ve got to say is good communication.