club upgrade

Upgrade Your Club — Part I

The golf and country club industry is becoming increasingly competitive. To get ahead (and stay on top,) you need to constantly improve your facility.

Some inexpensive improvements can dramatically improve your guest experience. Here are a few low-cost improvements that can make a big difference for your guests and your staff.

In our next installment, we’ll discuss a few of the more substantial improvements that will keep your club in the top tier of leisure destinations.

It can be difficult to take an objective look at a club you’ve run for years. However, if you step back and try to see it from the perspective of a brand-new member or someone who’s never been there before, you may see some areas where improvements can be made for very little up-front capital.


TrystingTree_20190813-42Signs are a lot like Christmas trees — you won’t even see them anymore once they’ve been up for just a couple weeks. They’ll become invisible to you and your staff.

For anyone trying to find their way around your club, however, your signs are front-and-center. That’s why they need to be up-to-date, easy-to-read, and un-damaged. Shoddy signage reflects poorly on your club during the most crucial phase — the first impression.

Food & Beverage

POS_trystingPotential members are often introduced to your club by current members, and much of the time, the first visit includes lunch or a snack at your restaurant or café. You tread a fine line with food and beverage — too cheap and it makes your club look cheap, too expensive and your guests feel like you’re ripping them off.

This is a good area to step back and judge objectively. What kind of impression does your food quality and your pricing leave on guests?


One of the most common complaints from new players is the difficulty of the game. Lessons are a great (perhaps even necessary) way to progress quickly.

Keep golfers coming back with inexpensive group lessons and short (30- to 45-minute) pre-round pro-tip sessions.

You can also have instructors cruise the course on busy days, offering quick tips and promoting lessons.

Customer Service

The value of a happy, positive staff can’t be overstated. An employee with a cheerful, enthusiastic attitude can make a guest’s day, even if (especially if) that guest is frustrated with something. On a greater scale, a positive staff makes the club a more enjoyable place to be for guests and for employees.


Small incentive programs or even just daily reminders can make all the difference in your employees’ attitudes.

Drinking Water

We’re not kidding. A round of golf can last four or five hours. In hot, dry climates, guests are at risk of dehydration which can ruin their day or even present health risks.

Making a cooler of drinking water available every couple of holes or making sure every cart that’s rented heads out with a cooler of drinking water is an inexpensive way to make every golfer’s day a little better and avoid problems over the course of a hot summer.

waterThe possibilities for inexpensive, incremental improvements are endless. It can be difficult, however, to see areas where improvements can be made if you’re used to your routine at the club for months or even years at a time.

Take a moment to step back and look at the experience from the viewpoint of a guest. You may be surprised to find cheap or even free improvements that will make your club a better place to be.