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TOPIC: Your Questions For Golf Courses - Thanks! - JohnnyGK

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JohnnyGK
Your Questions For Golf Courses - Thanks! - JohnnyGK

JohnnyGK

GK Event: Played in a GK Event

Member Since:
    December 30, 2002


Favorite Golfer:
    GK'ers
Favorite Golf Course:
    Cascata


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Wednesday July 10, 2019 9:47 AM
I need your assistance.

I am going to approach the golf course industry head on with questions on my LinkedIn network in hopes of providing insight to us and create productive conversations among golf course operators.

ALSO, I'd like to share with the golf course industry things we LIKE about what they doing so to reinforce it and hopefully see other golf courses implemented it.

Thanks so much!
REPLY
GK FACEBOOK - Please check it out - CLICK HERE - I'm doing fun posts all the time.
 Message #91854
Nickesquire
RE: Your Questions For Golf Courses - Thanks! - JohnnyGK
GK Event: Played in a GK Event

Member Since:
    August 11, 2007


Favorite Golfer:
    Jack, Freddie, Tiger
Favorite Golf Course:
    Maderas Olivas Sherwood


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Wednesday July 10, 2019 10:24 AM
Offer discounts or specials. Nothing appeals more to most golfers than feeling like they are getting a deal. Offer free rounds after so many purchased rounds as an example. It's a great way to get people out to your course over the local competitors. Also, to build loyality because the golfer can get to know your staff and course. Every place I have lived, there have been local "go to" courses that I came back to time and again because they provided a decent product at a decent price AND they treated me well. There have also been courses close by that I rarely played because they were inflexible and acted like they were doing me a favor by taking my $$$.

Accept tee times for singles. I get that in a perfect world courses would prefer a 4some slot booked all at once. However, I play well over 100 rounds per year, almost all as a single during the week. MANY courses lose out on my potential business because they require at least 2 golfers to make an advance tee time. Especially stupid are the many courses that let tee time after tee time go by unused even when you are booking less than an hour beforehand. Because evidently they are making so much $$$ that they would rather get $0 than collect a fee from me or other single golfers who may otherwise play there? Instead, I frequent the many courses that will allow me to book myself alone online or at least secure a tee time for one by calling the pro shop.

Update their web sites regularly to reflect accurate rates and twilight times. People want accurate, honest information. It flat out pisses off consumers when they book and arrive to play based on innacurate information posted on a website. Most pro shop employees go ahead and provide good customer service and make an effort to fix challenges that arise. However, most golfers who book alot of rounds will invaribly run into a small minority of rigid thinkers who compound the original problem by curtly imposing fees not presented to the consumer when they made the decision to play there. Whether an honest mistake or a conscious misrepresentation, no one likes to feel like they had a "bait and switch" pulled on them.

More sand in their sand traps. Single biggest complaint I regularly read in golfer reviews. Probably accurate on at least 80% of the courses I play. Critically important on courses that have deeper bunkers. A superintendent once told me that it was easy for him to have the bunkers raked daily and made ready for play. I always reference that statement when I come across a bunker that obviously has not been raked in recent memory.

Have consistently good greens. In talking with golfers, I get the feeling that the overwhelming majority think first and foremost about a courses greens. If the greens are routinely less than average, many of the golfers I know mark that course off their list. Water falls, fancy GPS, brand new carts with plugs for electronics etc. are all nice amenities to experience. However, I don't care to pay for those experiences UNLESS the golf is also satisfactory to superior. And there is no way IMO the golf can be satisfactory to superior on poor greens. Smooth and medium to medium fast speed and at least soft enough so the average golfer can stop a decent iron on them. I never hear a golfer compliment or request slow, hard, bumpy greens.

NO 5somes. I am talking to you American Golf. You are asking for a poor golfer experience when their round is routinely long, slow and played on a backed up course. And this is pretty much a guarantee when your policy allows 5some after 5some to tee off. The management with this mindset fail to realize (or maybe do not care?) how many golfers won't look to play their course again after a 5-6 hour round? Same mentality as courses that are deceptive and not forth coming about maintanence issues and only want to collect a full price green fee today. They want as much $$$ as possible right now. They are not looking at the big picture of the $$$ they are losing later because they alienate a decent % of their customers who then play at another course that treats their consumers better. Almost NOTHING a course can do is worse than misinforming the golfer that the course is in good condition only for them to find out while playing that there are major maintanence issues ongoing. Outright misrepresentation. I have encountered that multiple times over the years and it affects their (lack of) business relationship with me moving forward. Failing to inform golfers of major maintanence issues when they are making the reservation and paying if they do not specifically inquire is almost as bad. Lie of omission.

[[Edited by Nickesquire on Friday July 12, 2019 1:58 PM]]
REPLY
The goal is long and straight! But on the many times I cannot seem to hit them straight, I at least want to hit them long!
 Message #91855 - This was a reply to message #91854
JohnnyGK
RE: Your Questions For Golf Courses - Thanks! - JohnnyGK

JohnnyGK

GK Event: Played in a GK Event

Member Since:
    December 30, 2002


Favorite Golfer:
    GK'ers
Favorite Golf Course:
    Cascata


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Wednesday July 10, 2019 2:19 PM
Thanks Nick!
REPLY
GK FACEBOOK - Please check it out - CLICK HERE - I'm doing fun posts all the time.
 Message #91860 - This was a reply to message #91855
sr129
RE: Your Questions For Golf Courses - Thanks! - JohnnyGK
GK Event: Played in a GK Event

Member Since:
    March 31, 2010


Favorite Golfer:
    N/A
Favorite Golf Course:
    goose creek


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Wednesday July 10, 2019 2:25 PM
What Nick said and pace of play
REPLY
 Message #91861 - This was a reply to message #91860
sngernz
RE: Your Questions For Golf Courses - Thanks! - JohnnyGK

GK Event: Played in a GK Event

Member Since:
    January 24, 2005


Favorite Golfer:
    Bubba!
Favorite Golf Course:
    Spyglass Hill


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Wednesday July 10, 2019 2:36 PM
Johnny, my 2 cents:

Online tee times are the best thing since sliced bread. The more user friendly, the better. Like Nick, offer this to singles, too.
Practice facilities that have a grass range (or grass/mat option) are the best. Short game area, too. That's where I go to practice.
Upgraded restaurant/bar are the places I will hang around for a while.
Bunkers, ditto. Some are just ignored. We aren't pros ... we hit it in bunkers every round. A lot!
Friendly starters are my buds. I will come back if I feel welcome and am treated like a regular. Snarly attitudes = I'll play elsewhere.
Regular, predictable course maintenance will keep them in my rotation.
Like Nick, I look for discounts/specials.

Stew
REPLY
 Message #91862 - This was a reply to message #91860
Alex326
RE: Your Questions For Golf Courses - Thanks! - JohnnyGK
Member Since:
    November 20, 2015


Favorite Golfer:
    N/A
Favorite Golf Course:
    Pebble Beach


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Thursday July 11, 2019 6:37 AM
As Nick and Stew mentioned the online tee times are a Godsend. Definitely have to keep that service. I completely understand that the courses are a business and they need to make money and need to charge an appropriate price. One of the thing that Dragonfly does is once or twice a week they offer discount prices on off peak days. Sort of like gyms started doing back in the day. Allows the course to maximize their profits on busy days and gives us with flexible schedules an opportunity to play at a cheaper price point. This might not work for The higher populated So Cal areas.

How about bulk or semi bulk play cards? 5 & 10 round prepaid play cards for a reduced rate?
Better (healthier) food / snack options on the beverage cart. If it's a nicer course with a good restaurant then yes it needs to stay open late. Places like Blackhorse and the Crossings at Carlsbad have great restaurant locations that could draw even non golfers But if they do keep the restaurant open its up to us to support it. No going to IHOP after the round! I know the two Matts and I made it a Point to eat on site at Sandpiper after our last round there to support them.
REPLY
 Message #91864 - This was a reply to message #91862
ringworld
RE: Your Questions For Golf Courses - Thanks! - JohnnyGK

Community Director

GK Event: Played in a GK Event ringworld-blog: golfing guru ringworld blog

Member Since:
    March 24, 2004


Favorite Golfer:
    Rory Mcilroy he's peachy
Favorite Golf Course:
    Spanish Bay Pebble Beach


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Thursday July 11, 2019 10:20 AM
How about this.

With sites like GolfNow, click4teetimes and the like whole-selling Tee Times are you as a golf course operator concerned that these sites have turned your golf course, if you participate, into a SUBSTITUTE product? The only really big difference is if you don't have the tee time a golfer wants they can always find a golf course with a tee time that is agreeable to their needs.

The real question is I thought you want to share a golf course's unique experience. Why would you turn yourself into a substitute product? Why don't you differentiate your experience from other golf courses? Why not leverage a site like Greenskeeper.Org that uses unsolicited golf course reviews to help spread the word about your conditions? And with the inclusion of a mechanism to help distribute golf experiences (i.e. the GK Coupon) FREE to Download to help fill your tee sheet with individuals that will not only spread the word about your superior golf course experience but influence others to play your course for that same reason?


{phew}

LOL
REPLY
Work Hard. Play Golf! www.ace-cases.com
Oh yeah, I blog too: www.golfing-guru.com

Know before you go.... golfing with Greenskeeper.org!
 Message #91870 - This was a reply to message #91864
t8fish
RE: Your Questions For Golf Courses - Thanks! - JohnnyGK
GK Event: Played in a GK Event

Member Since:
    January 31, 2006


Favorite Golfer:
    My Dad
Favorite Golf Course:
    Wykagyl GC


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Thursday July 11, 2019 10:25 AM
Somewhat repetitive, but:

Deals are always nice.

The LA City system allows me to book as a single up to a five-some and doesn't charge me a fee to do it. Technically, I'm supposed to cancel 24 hrs ahead or be liable for a fee, but on the few occasions I've reluctantly had to within that window, calling the starter has always allowed me to cancel with no penalty. They mainly want the heads up so they aren't looking for you and can use the slot on the day. For courses that have their own online booking vs. third party services, this system has a lot to point to.

Definitely complete and updated info on the website. What is currently twilight time, what is the definition of a senior, accurate rates, etc.? Everyone has a website nowadays but too many don't properly maintain it.

A smile and "how can I help you?" and "let me see what I can do for you." are always a good to see/hear.

And please let them know we appreciate that the player's side of the counter is not devoid of problematic personalities.

In general, perhaps this would be helpful to them in your discussions. I think the vast majority of GKers are looking for an excuse to write a positive review. If the course, as an exercise, was to consider the different aspects of their public interactions and service in a self critiquing mode (as if they had to write a review, not a promotion), what would they give themselves good marks on and where do they see room for improvement from a customer perspective?

Good courses probably do some form of this, but for others it might be a revelation.
REPLY
 Message #91871 - This was a reply to message #91864
noeldaof
RE: Your Questions For Golf Courses - Thanks! - JohnnyGK
GK Event: Played in a GK Event

Member Since:
    November 4, 2004


Favorite Golfer:
    N/A
Favorite Golf Course:
    N/A


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Thursday July 11, 2019 10:36 AM
The range ball prices at golf facilities just keeps going up like everything else. What can we expect to see in the near future about range ball prices?

Senior rates and age qualifications for a discounted rounds are not always visible to players. Would the courses be willing to put that information out clearly so everyone knows?

====================================================================

For Oak Valley Golf Club, we love what you do with your course maintenance/conditions. Your pro shop staff are always helpful including the guy at the booth on the first tee.

For Rancho Vista, your team of staff at pro shop and greens keepers are amazing. Medium fast smooth greens are okay and your fast greens on tournaments are very good.

For Wolf Creek Golf Club, I've only been there once, and I don't know how you do it- You should be the role model for many of the courses.

For El Cab, "New grass greens again!" you must have the means and you do it well.

For Valencia cc, You're about the most jaggedly spiked graph of course conditions I've seen in the last three years, but gotta hand it to you for when you're good- You're really good!!

For Crystalaire cc, you guys out there are still THE MOST CONSISTENT of all in course maintenance and conditions. We love what you do! (make sure your head still fit in the car fud- but you've done well. lol) All your staff are A+ too!

For Mission Lakes cc, most impressive fence to fence grass coverage and consistency!

Antelope Valley cc, thank goodness for your newly acquired maintenance group- we love you again!
REPLY
JVGA
 Message #91875 - This was a reply to message #91854
alecwalker
RE: Your Questions For Golf Courses - Thanks! - JohnnyGK
Member Since:
    May 21, 2015


Favorite Golfer:
    N/A
Favorite Golf Course:
    N/A


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Thursday July 11, 2019 4:58 PM
1) Online tee times with deals for off-peak days/times (like week day late morning, for example)

2) Make the maintenance schedules more transparent. It's always frustrating when you book a tee time over the phone or online and come to find that there is some maintenance being done that affects play. I never return to courses that fail to warn of maintenance when I call to book.

3) Allow people to just play 9. This is the way golf is moving and while I like to play while on family vacations, sometimes 18 is not feasible/convenient.

4) I would love to see more opportunities to play private courses, similar to what the SCGA and NCGA do with their outings. Millenials are more interested in unique opportunities rather than full membership at a single club. Offering very limited opportunities (for example, tee times for single player or 2-somes only, one tee time every monday, etc.) just makes sense to get people more interested in golf as a whole even if the tee times are pricey.
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 Message #91886 - This was a reply to message #91854

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