Patrick Fillian is the PGA Head Professional at Echo Lake Country Club in Westfield, New Jersey.
Most tournament and outing organizers have multiple options when searching for a golf facility to host their annual events. As a business practice, it is vital to secure as many events as your club’s calendar can handle and once you schedule these tournaments, providing exemplary service and a great customer experience are extremely important to retaining the events. Member tournaments at your club should be considered just as important as your outside charitable outings. Providing that member-experience they desired when looking for a club to join should be a top priority for your club’s entire staff every day. To best prepare my team for upcoming events, we hold a weekly staff meeting. It is a great opportunity to discuss upcoming events, delegate responsibilities, talk about ways to improve as a staff and address any additional thoughts and concerns that may stem from events we had recently hosted. Ensuring we are all on the same page for each event goes a long way in their success. I suggest this for anyone in a managerial role. Most outing organizers and players, as well as member-event participants, can tell how prepared a facility is for their golf tournament. With so many great golf courses and PGA Professionals available, preparing your staff and facility as a whole for the upcoming events of the week can be the difference between a successful tournament or complete failure and an open Monday to fill next year.
Having a vibrant mix of outside outings and member tournaments provides the facility with a great revenue stream, as well as a selling point to potential new members. The staff meetings we hold each week are the perfect venue for evaluating past performance and providing open and honest feedback and assessment. This dialogue leads to improved service and customer satisfaction. During my four years at Echo Lake Country Club, our outing schedule has remained strong, allowing us to raise prices significantly and participation in member events has grown 15 percent. Stimulating member play in club events leads to increased rounds on other days, more lessons for our golf professional staff, higher sales in the golf shop and increased food & beverage revenues. When we sit down as a team to delegate responsibilities, each staff member understands his or her role in more detail and is motivated to provide the best possible service. Attaining external outings and members to join your club are often costly and time-consuming endeavors. Once you get them, it is in everyone’s best interest to do all you can to retain them. Our weekly meetings are but one very important step in that process.