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Running a golf course takes an almost Herculean amount of effort.

As you set goals and make plans for the season, chances are you’re also thinking about how to work smarter tomorrow. We put together a short series that highlights three things we feel increase your chances for growth and success. Here’s our first one of the series.

#1 How do you start making better decisions tomorrow at your golf course?
There are a lot of opportunities to improve your operations. That is a fact. It’s an overwhelming proposition at the start of a new season. We like the idea of starting with, “What do I need to do next, and how does it tie back to my golf course objectives for the year?”. The real path to answering this is paved in data.

Collecting valuable data is not as easy as it sounds. It starts with defining data that is valuable. Say you want to know what promotional offer will drive the highest return in a given period—you need data around past promotions and their capture rates. You need to know the customer segments that responded well, and the ones that
didn’t. You need to know if you displaced retail customers with promotional offers, and if the net return was positive. This information is not easy to track. It takes effort.

You can begin to capture the right kind of data with many systems (one of which is Teesnap of course), but what really matters is that you do it. Consistently. Whether you’re using software or pen and paper, you need to be religious about getting your staff to collect good data. Knowing who your customer is, when they book, how many rounds they play, and how much they’ve spent on food and beverage in the last year is only possible when you start to see the value it can offer you.

A couple hundred pennies isn’t worth much, but when you’ve got millions of them they add up to something quite significant. Here are some ways we’ve seen operators excel at data collection:

  • Having a hard time getting the staff to collect the golfer information for each booking on the tee sheet? Hold a contest for the staff member that collects the most customer information in a week, month, quarter, etc.
  • Do you need to encourage customers to offer up their information while out on the golf course, or at the food and beverage stations? Offer a loyalty program built around dollars spent in the areas where it’s the hardest to collect data (e.g. $100 spent earns you a free beverage of your choice).
  • Think you need a software solution and tools to solve all your problems? If you want data that your software doesn’t provide today, don’t let that limit you. There is a way to do anything that software can do for you – it just requires effort.
  • Don’t think you have the qualitative information you need to move forward with an idea? Involve your customers! With the right motivation, people are happy to share suggestions, preferences, responses, and ideas in targeted surveys and market research.

Collecting the data is half the battle. Once you have the data, then you need to take the time to process and analyze, find the problem that needs your attention (what to do next), build a hypothesis, and then go out and test it. Of course, you must continue to collect data to repeat the process. This is what we strive to do at Teesnap – find and create processes worth repeating.