Stay the course

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Stay the course

With the start of the 2010 golf season fast approaching for much of the country, Iíd like to bring up a few ideas to think about for 2010 season. After recently spending time with some AMF members in Florida, it was clear to me that most of us have the same issues at our respective clubs. Not only do we have similar issues, but they tend to repeat themselves year in and year out. For example the time and energy that is put into ladies golf and ladies merchandising only to see very little revenue returned. How about the Junior Golf Programs that are poorly attended and require a great deal of staff preparation. The constant pressure of trying to provide more organized memberís game, etc.

After reviewing the conversations and stories with these professionals it is extremely clear to me that clubs have a makeup or personality that is identical to peopleís personalities. After a certain age it is extremely difficult to change your personality and the makeup of one selfís. However it is easier to modify a specific behavioral tendency. A person can modify behavioral tendencies by being more cognitive of the behavior, therapy, etc. We as golf professionals must realize clubs are the same! In order to save yourself from headaches during the middle of the season slump due to your desire to take the club to the next level, one must understand that the club and programs can only modify, not change. Modification should also be done slowly.

We all know the person that will spend hours of our time getting fit for clubs and then turn around and buy them at a discount house. Expect and except that, donít allow that member to get you disgruntled. Turn your attention to that member after the fitting and describe the sale in the golf shop on apparel or balls. If your policy permits maybe you can match the price! He is not going to change, but maybe you can modify him.

Those of you that work outside operations, identify the members that require the iced towel and the two cups of water prior to play. Their expectations are not going to change no matter how busy you are. Kill them with kindness and change your mind set. After time maybe they will modify their behavior next time you are busy and canít get to them right away.

As Iím staring at the 3 feet of snow on the ground, I know it wonít be long until the bags are flying everywhere, carts zipping pass, and all day teaching sessions in 100 percent humidity. Iím making a commitment to remind myself that the clubís and members behavior will not change. It is my job to provide quality daily performance and excellent customer service in hopes that I can help modify theirs!
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Glad to see the positive take on dealing with the everyday grind that we deal with as golf professionals. I laughed out loud when I came to the example of the member using you to get fit & then heading off to the discount store to buy. It is an all too common occurance that I'm sure every golf professional deals with. However, the insight offered here shows that the "grind" really doesn't have to be. By using some of these tips and focusing on the positve and seeking new opportunities to modify behaviors, we can imrove our clubs, our relationships with members, and ourselves as golf professionals. By always striving to imporve our worth as golf pro's, we can create a better atmosphere for the membership and the club as a whole.
Posted by Anonymous on March 19, 2010 @ 10:46 am

As it states, members are difficult to change. They're expectations are the same and if the golf staff gets better and better, there expectations actually grow from year to year. Tough game to play for us golf professionals! This kind of reminds me of a quote that I like, "What made you successful today likely will not make you successful tomorrow". Not only attempt to modify the members behavior by adjusting your mindset, but modify your own behavior to. Golf professionals should be periodically evaluating and re-inventing themselves and their golf operations. "Personal performance reviews" if you will. When we stop evaluating and re-inventing, that's when we tend to hit a wall. If you had a great season last year, congratulations! Modify your operations and try and one-up last years success. If you did something great yesterday for a member, great job! But try to be better and one-up yourself the next day.
Posted by Brian Dobak on March 2, 2010 @ 6:45 pm

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