Customer Experience at Golf Clubs

A golfer's customer journey

How do new guests typically find out about you? Other sites? Word of Mouth? Google Search? Google Map Search? Facebook? Some other social media we have yet to hear about? It’s good to ask when they come in and make a note.
It’s important to make this finding out period as low-effort as possible, here are some tips:-

  • Claim your golf club on Google Maps and add opening times, phone number, pictures
  • Be up-front about prices and offers, uncertainty is a huge barrier to taking decisions
  • Make your golf course standout – what makes it unique and identifiable: Makes it easier to refer to it
  • Feature holes or tees, take a picture and indicate where to aim and why
  • First impressions matter and the first impression is when the golfer enters the pro-shop or reception to register. You only have one opportunity to get it right so consider these points:-

  • Hire the friendliest staff you can find, people with great, positive attitudes that welcome your golfer
  • Use the Starbucks trick and ask them for their first name which you write on their scorecard
  • Lighting: Psychologically it’s daunting to enter a new space, if it’s well-lit it will make the experience more positive
  • Way-finding to the 1st / 10th tee: Make it super obvious how to get their using way-finding cues such as colours (red = 1st tee, blue = 10th)
  • Give your golfer a free bottle of water and offer them some free fruit
  • The consideration process will take into account the hard facts so make it easy to understand what monthly commitment, potential initation fee is required.

  • Keep it simple: Less pricing options makes it easier to decide
  • Incentivise: Include complimentary round with golf pro
  • Make it family and friends friendly: A big reason golfers don’t play is because they don’t have time:
  • > Include free / reduced rounds for invitees
    > Kids entertainment or Homework club?

    In most cases the decision is driven by emotions and experience. We all would like to use our logical brain but this is what’s really important for the golfer:

  • How does my partner/kids/friends feel about it? What’s in it for them?
  • Why do I really want to play golf (this is not easy to answer but worth so much to know!)
  • Do I like the people at this golf club? I really like Jill at the reception and Bob the golf pro...
  • So what engages golfers? Give them reasons to come in with fun events where they can benchmark themselves and have fun. Here are some event ideas:-

  • 10 Foot Challenge Benchmark
  • Need for Speed / Snakes and Ladders
  • Flop Shot Championship / Short Game Handicap
  • Fairway Finders / 40 Yard Chip for Charity
  • Putting and Putter Assessment / Target practice
  • Create Spin / Change Trajectory with equipment

  • In the end golfers, just like any human, wants to be understood and feel at home. You should have key information about each golfer in your system and be able to categorise your golfers into different types. This way you can get the golf pro or general manager to invite ”at-risk” players to a round together which will go down well.

    So some sort of GRM (Golf Relationship Management) software is key. There are tons of CRMs out there which you can use as GRMs. Let us know which ones work best for you.

    When communicating with your golfers consider turning the dreaded survey into a low-effort interaction that is a positive marketing touch point as well as informs you about the golfer.

    Here are some questions which work really well:-

  • How happy are you with your current golf game and why do you play golf?
  • Would you recommend this golf club to a friend or colleague?
  • What did you like/dislike about the course the last time you played?
  • What should Pebble Beach Golf Club stop / start / continue doing
  • Here are some ideas to go the extra mile for your golfers:-

  • Video them using a drone
  • “We will find you”-sandwich: your golfer can say give me a BLT in two hours and you drive the sandwich out to them, wherever they are
  • Blind tee dates – pair up different golfers who can play together, they’ll get to know each other and strengthen your community
  • Take a photo of their scorecard at the end and enter it into your system (super low-effort)
  • Take a photo of the four-ball at the first tee and send it to them, great memory and reason to come back (imagine sending out a personalised email to the member stating “Where memories are made” attaching the photo

  • Knowing what to address first helps Retain and Grow Membership

    Don't bore your golfers with a survey - they will get annoyed and the only ones who fill it out are the ones who want to be nice to you. Such positive feedback might feel good but it doesn't address the looming cancellations and negative word-of-mouth from unhappy members.

    Ask a simple yet relevant question like

    Do you agree that it is easy to book a tee time at our golf course?

    How satisfied are you with the greens on our course?

    To be able to to measure what matters on an ongoing basis (tracking metric) as well as capturing improvement ideas. The follow-up questions can provide more context and include simple instructions. For example you could ask How satisfied are you with the greens on our course? and have a comment box with the following placeholder Green on hole x needs some TLC / was in perfect condition .

    You want the attention and critique from the golfers who are likely to drop-off or cancel their membership so you have to reduce the barrier for them to tell you what stinks. If you manage to get them to open up there is a great opportunity to engage them and turn these into loyal customers who promote your business.

    And are you investing in what really matters to them (be it amenities, staff / classes)?

    Each question on is a unique link that you can send out (works great with MailChimp, Constant Contact etc) - that's it.

    We'll email you our free step by step guide (PDF) to measuring golf member engagement, just opt-in to our newsletter. No spam promise, we'll let you know when we ship something very cool.
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    We love golf

    We always like to talk to practioners so please get in touch if you find this interesting and / or have any comments and questions. If you provide Voice of Customer or Customer Experience services then we also offer to co-brand this tool with your brand.

    Made with and 🍑 in Dublin, Madrid, Houston and London.