The best way to improve the bottom line for a golf course or club is to invest in culture. The places that display a reverence for the game tend to attract golfers who do the same. The course that finds this sort of player will surely discover success. In this scenario, it’s the little things that make the biggest difference. Whether it’s experiential competitions, clearly communicated expectations, or even just regularly scheduled outings, it takes effort to create a compelling product. Unfortunately, this is where most places fall short. Building culture might sound expensive, but lacking one is much more costly in the end. It doesn’t take any more money to make strong impressions through service and professional pride. Golf culture comes in many different models but you always know it when you see it. Culture is not exclusive to private clubs either. Some public links and municipal facilities have the best examples around. It comes down to the folks who set the tone – the staff, the board, the regulars, and guests. Each personal interaction is a chance to share what a place stands for. Anyone who comes to a golf course should be able to easily understand what matters most there and why. Some places try to fake it, but the true colors always shine through. Meanwhile, the best hangs are the ones where people have a high golf IQ and deep appreciation for what matters most in the game. Show me a struggling golf course or club and I’ll show you a culture that’s not what it should be. No two places are the same, but the ones that do best are where culture drives everything. After all, that’s what golfers really come to buy.
If you enjoy these daily stories, you might like my new book, The Nine Virtues of Golf. It debuted earlier this Summer as the #1 new release golf book on Amazon.