Matt Tinti on the importance of being visible:
As many PGA professionals agree, it is important for members to see us wearing the many hats that we wear each day. With an audience of those same professionals reading this Best Practice, there is no need for me to detail each duty we cover at our facilities. But I do feel it is vital to highlight the value we bring to our members. I do this by being visible at different areas of the club throughout the day. Of course they can find me working hard in my office in the golf shop, but we mustn’t underestimate the impact that welcoming them to the club on a Saturday morning can have. I will often help out at the bag drop on a busy weekend morning, ensuring I have that early “touch” with as many members as possible. An hour or so is usually sufficient. To interact with some of the players with later tee times, I will often take a “good will loop” around the course, saying hello and asking how the round is going. When members see me outside the shop, they remember those encounters more vividly. Many professionals will walk the range on an equally busy weekend morning. Engaging members in quick spurts at impromptu times reinforces your presence and importance at the club. Playing with them obviously takes more time, but if you can work those “play with the pro” days into your schedule, the benefits are long-lasting, as new relationships are forged.
Matt Tinti on the business impact of being visible:
Whether it be at the bag drop, valet, on the course, or on the range, being visible outside of the golf shop is important. Spending unscheduled time on the range allows you to offer a tip here and there, which often turns into a paid lesson down the road. Playing a round of golf with members very often results in future instruction. Between discussions about the world at large, the pro offering a tip or two, as well as displaying his or her own playing ability, future instruction is often a lucrative result of clearing a few hours per week to play with members. These relationships, even when not a means to boosting your lesson revenue, benefit the well-being of the club. Our facility is unique in that we have six courses and around 2,000 memberships. I can’t always get to know everyone there, but they can get to know me. Networking within the club enables word of mouth to spread the good job that I and my staff are doing in and out of the golf shop. Being this kind of golf professional endears you to members, and they want to bring their friends. In fact, 28% of our rounds this March were guests of members. When members have pride in their club, they come out more. We did over 4,000 rounds in March 2018 on the Chiricahua course alone, and 22,000 rounds facility-wide, further proof that being around your members creates a feeling at the club that they appreciate and want to experience often.
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