Guest Contributor

Tips for Success when Starting a Golf Course Business

By| Sarah Kaminski

Running a golf course business can be more than a lucrative venture. It’s also a great way to ensure you get plenty of fresh air, socialize, and generally live an upbeat daily life.

However, if you are new to the business, it can be difficult to know which actions will ensure success. You’ll definitely want to learn how not to waste your time on operations that are not as useful.

Here are our top tips that will help you take your golf course business to the next level.

Focus on Building a Community

One of the major draws of golf is that it can be a very solitary sport but also provide plenty of room for networking and socialization. Above all, it’s simply a great way to spend a day outside with friends, family, or business partners.

Focus on building a community around your course. Give locals a discount or even free entry at a certain time of the month or a couple of times a year. Be friendly with your clients and offer advice, training, or additional perks at no extra charge. You can even introduce people to each other and pair them up for putting practice. The point is to make everyone feel like they are a part of a larger family, tied together by their love of golf.

Ensure Your Equipment Is Top-Notch

To provide the best possible experience, make sure all of your equipment is always in full working order. Maintain your golf carts regularly and make sure they are not accident-prone. Have your staff diligently taking care of the greens, making sure there’s no rubbish, and hunting down stray balls. Keep your facilities not only clean but gleaming.

Always have extra clubs and balls around to be lent to a golfer who may need them. Your kindness will be remembered, and clients will always want to come back after positive experiences.

Offer Classes at Affordable Prices

While golf is a very popular sport, it’s not on everyone’s radar. First and foremost, it requires a very specific set of skills. It’s unlike any other kind of sport people usually have easy access to.

To draw in a new audience, offer affordable beginners (and advanced) golf lessons. You can do them one-on-one, or you can even have group classes that can be even more affordable.

The key is in getting people interested and honing their skills. Once they get a hang of the game and overcome their initial hesitations (caused by the fact that they may suck at golf), they will love to come back and pay a monthly membership or even just a day’s entrance.

Relax the Dress Code

A lot of golf courses still implement dress codes. And sure, there’s a lot to be said about walking onto a course and seeing the ladies and the gentlemen adhering to an old-fashioned style. But if you want to appeal to younger millennials, you may have to loosen up a bit.

You may want to do it on specific days so as not to alienate your slightly older and more traditional clientele either. Depending on your target golfer, you may even have a no-dress-code policy at all times. This does not apply to footwear, of course.

Appeal to the Ladies

The term “golf wife” is no longer in use as much as it once was. But the fact remains that a lot of men like to play golf while a lot of their wives are either not allowed on the course, don’t enjoy the game, or simply like to leave the men to their fun.

By having courses specifically for the ladies or by establishing plenty of amenities and experiences that will specifically appeal to women (and children!), you can turn your golf course into a family affair. It can be a place where generations can come together and where everyone can enjoy themselves in different activities.

Build the Best Possible Team

Finally, you want to make sure the people you hire share your passion for the game. Your staff needs to be knowledgeable about golf – there’s just no way around it. Even your wait staff needs to be able to talk with some knowledge, as a lot of your guests will want to chat about their handicap to anyone who will listen.

You also want everyone to be friendly and super approachable. Great golf course employees are easygoing, with a problem-solving mindset. The better the experiences visitors have on your course, the more likely they are to upgrade to an annual membership.

Final Thoughts

Overnight success is not exactly something to expect when starting a golf course business. But with the help of our tips, you’ll be able to gradually build a fantastic brand. It’s something you will be proud of decades down the line when you look back on your humble beginnings.

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