Golf is about customer service – just like retail. Marry the two and you have PGA professionals who focus on member engagement and personal attention to deliver an exceptional guest experience with every visit.
Most PGA Professionals will tell you that they strive to make all member feels like he is the only member, and their methods of doing so can become very interesting. Take Chip King to Grandfather Golf and Country Club in North Carolina. He has won several Carolinas PGA Section awards and is inducted into the Section Hall of Fame.
To include its members in the buying process and ensure sales on the backend, it recruits influential women to taste the clothes – wear, wash and wear again – and takes their feedback into account BEFORE ordering for its golf shop . He works with vendors to get samples and collaborates with members to get feedback – vital relationships that contribute to the success of his golf shop.
“They appreciate that sense of partnership,” King says, “because they understand that their feedback and feedback plays an important role in new items being introduced to our golf shop.”
Another example comes from the Claremont Country Club in Oakland, California, where PGA Golf Director Jay McDaniel offers personalized service at its best. At the end of the many custom club adjustments McDaniel makes, he doesn’t just grab the chosen club(s) from stock or place a special order. He assembles the new clubs for the members right in front of them.
The components are laid out on a table and the members experience the entire process. From the first ball hit in the fitting to the moment they walk out with their new club in hand, members feel special when they are treated this way by their PGA Professional.
“Providing great service in golf often sets the tone for a plethora of great moments at your club,” McDaniel says. “We have several programs that cater to the individual side of our members – ball try-ons, putting days, wedge clinics and of course, our personalized fitting sessions with personal club assembly on site.”
Finally, when it comes to shopping for increasingly popular golf apparel and activewear, who wouldn’t appreciate a personal shopping experience? At Haggin Oaks Golf Resort in Sacramento, CA, Personal Shoppers reach out to customers and invite them to enjoy a personal shopping experience. They interview them ahead of time for sizes and preferences, and have samples waiting for customers to arrive. They also receive a glass of wine (if desired) with the session.
“As part of this new concept, our customers can benefit from a free one-hour appointment for a clothing fitting, just as they would for a personalized golf club fitting,” explains Ken Morton Jr., vice president of retail and merchandising of the establishment. “Our personal stylists each have personalized cards that they send out regularly as invitations, and they’ve come to love and cherish the one-on-one time they can share with their clients.”
Personal service is not a new concept in golf or in retail – but there are new and innovative ways to delight members and customers with an exemplary experience. If you’re a golfer, look for a PGA Pro who does something special. Get to know your pro and be part of the experience at your club or golf course.