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Attract new golfers or take care of your exisiting base?

By Thomas Mezzio on March 18, 2014
The most frustrating thing about this part of the golf experience 

I understand that one of the biggest debates revolves around the golf industry trying to attract new golfers vs. taking care of their established, existing golfers.

How do people learn to play in the first place? My father taught me. He taugh himself. I think the notion that's it's still a rich white man's game is so over. If someone want's to take up the game, there are plenty of avenues and opportunities. Used equipment. Inexpensive munis. Give beginners a taste of a fun experience and they will continue.

As an avid golfer, I do fall on the side of wishing the courses I frequent were more service oriented and treated me better. I get no sense of service above or beyond....I am now accustomed to grouchy starters who make you wait to tee off even when the group in front of you is on the 3rd hole, only becuase it's 7:55 and your tee time is 7:58. (It's amazing the power rush one gets with a clipboard and starter sheet). I am used to marhsalls who are rarely seen, unless sitting in their cart in the shade, texting away or dozing off. Snack shacks at the turn that don't open until 11am, and are closed on weekends at 9:30am when I'm making the trun after my early tee time.

Hotels need great concierges. Restaurants need greast maitre d's. Golf courses nees to provide similar service. I am willing to travel the extra time and distance for a better experience. I'm your bread & butter. I'm not buying skis in the winter or scuba gear in the splurge money is on a new driver or a trip to a resort. Take care of me.

Thomas, the single most important fact is that the business of golf is not unlike any other business in the world--service is more important than anything else---if you read my input the other day---we agree---one big reason why people either leave the game or play less is service at all levels---from the parking lot to the on course bathrooms to the interest of the personnel--are you a number or are you a valuable asset---the golfing industry high ups can come up with any new gimmick or form of the game of golf but if the service platforms are the same, the result will be the same---take care

I agree with a lot of this. You have to take care of the base before you can expand it. Equipment prices are through the roof making this a rich man;s game for certain however, so I have to disagree there Thomas. Yes, there is inexpensive and used equipment available but the local munis have raised the greens fees, at least around here. One upscale course that charges $80 in peak season admitted that they wondered if they were charging too much. But when they look at the tee sheet and 10 minute tee times, it is always filled, so the logic is they weren't charging too much. Conversely the smaller budget clubs see that and can raise their prices and still be under the higher end courses and that is what they do. I can't speak for resorts because I haven't gone to a golf resort for overnight stays and restaurant dinning in many years. And that new driver that is going to give you 20-30 more yards - save your money and play it forward to make a course playable if you have to.

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