How to Retain Golfers
August 15, 2017
Matt Borocz, Assistant GM / Director of Golf at TPC Sawgrass, gives advice to keep golfers coming back to your facility.
We are in a time where people have many options for entertainment so it’s important to create an environment that not only incentivizes someone to choose golf, but to choose your facility over someone else’s. I believe the key to retaining golfers is creating a fun environment that makes them feel welcomed and comfortable. The best way to make golfers feel welcomed is showing them that you care. Your staff is critical to creating a comfortable, “homey” environment. It is easy to tell when staff doesn’t care, and the lack of effort and passion will help golfers make up their minds when deciding to return.
Our team continually discusses how we should retain our members and guests. For membership, we focus on our member tournament program, member golf groups, social calendar, hosting golf trips and being personable. TPC Sawgrass is a hybrid facility with member, resort and direct play. One of our biggest challenges is getting to know our members and guests. During new employee training we talk about “in the moment” opportunities - the ability to anticipate needs and react proactively. For example, our beverage cart attendants provide a fresh cup of ice with each drink, and our course advisors provide chilled scented towels on warm days. These small efforts make a world of a difference to our members and guests.
It’s also important to exceed expectations for first-time golfers. This may be the only opportunity that they visit our facility and when they go home they will tell others about their experience. If our team exceeds in all areas: course conditions, friendliness, service and value, first-time golfers will hopefully return, or at the very least give a positive review that encourages others to check out our course. Think about your own experiences. Many times we return to places because of the personal connection we felt that first time.
It’s important as operators that we think about our golfers and what makes them feel special. Our golfers play the game to have fun and enjoy the environment that golf brings. As operators it is our responsibility to ensure that golfers have a great time each time they play at our course.