The R&A found two years ago in its survey that 60% of golfers would enjoy golf more if they could play golf in less time. Most recently, a USGA survey shows 74% of golfers believe appropriate speed is critical to the enjoyment of their rounds. I will show you below through the case study of Carnoustie Golf Links a new way to improve the pace-of-play on the golf course.
By understanding the importance of pace-of-play from customer experience and the growth of golf perspective the R&A, England Golf, and the USGA came up with an official pace-of-play manual to help golf clubs and tournament organizers.
Four years ago Troon launched its “Troon Values Your Time” program to help golfers. I am sure there many similar initiatives around the globe (e.g. in Praia del Rey).
What is clear that the pace of play has a direct impact on the overall customer experience of the golfer in our golf club. To enable golfers to play at a reasonable pace is as important as the conditioning of the golf course, and the other services of the golf club.
How can we save time for golfers being able to fit into their everyday life and to eliminate a regular excuse why not to play golf?
In our hyper-competitive Experience Economy, where the savvy customers are time-starved, you have to be prepared to seize your customers’ attention and interest.
The massive data can empower golf clubs to make a better decision on the customer’s behalf:
- Have you got a BI analyst?
- Have you got the technology that enables you to achieve your business goals?
- Do your workers have the required skills and knowledge?
- Have you established operational processes?
Attention saving solutions will delight our golfers during their game. It is like outsourcing thinking. Our golfers focus on so many things during their game then why not to give them a little help in time management?
I dare to say that if we can help them to save their time they might be ready to pay more for a green fee in exchange for a memorable golf experience. It is also good for you since you will be able to sell more green fees and avoid negative reviews on social media + improve your efficiency. In one of my previous posts, I have highlighted that favorable customer experience can be a great differentiator for your golf club business.
Carnoustie Golf Links saved 17 minutes of its golfers’ time
Back in 2015, I met with Tagmarshal a golf course intelligence company in the PGA Show in Orlando. The co-founder Craig Kleu explained to me then how simply they can enable the golf club manager to control the pace of play on their golf course by using similar sensor technology that we can find in Arccos Golf as well.
Now, I heard that they were able to reduce the golfers’ rounds’ time on the Scottish Carnoustie Golf Links by an average of 17 minutes (at least 10 minutes in most cases). 10-17 minutes is a meaningful time. This amount of time would be enough for me to eat or drink or buy new golf balls in the clubhouse.
The Carnoustie Golf Links should not stop here but should think also how can they eradicate pain points & shorten customer journeys in their operations (e.g. utilize online, mobile-friendly tee-time booking solution; mobile application to manage your time and life in the golf club, utilizing chatbot services, mobile payment acceptance etc.)
It was a great learning for me this year that if a golf club’s service doesn’t reward attention with a ‘can’t afford to miss’ experience (e.g. experience theatre that help customers to achieve their goals and help them to acquire those skills that are related to their goals) and the golfer is not understood and served as an individual (see customization and personalization of services and products) then you are out of business sooner or later. For the same reason, I liked Air France’s ‘Run-to-Mum’ campaign with adidas.
By the way, Carnoustie Golf Links will host the 147th Open in 2018.
How would/do you eradicate pain points & shorten customer journeys in your golf club? What makes the customer experience unique in your golf club?