I spend most of my days trying to figure how to make Deer Run GC work. Not just make it work … but make it good. But, I’m seeing it from the operational side.
When I’m down here in South Carolina, I see golf operations from the customer side. And that’s a good thing … for me and DRGC.
The other day I played and it was cart path only. On one hole when my drive was on the other side of the fairway from the cart path … my first reaction was annoyance – which then made me laugh … I was seeing things as a customer – not as an operator.
It needs to be a two-way street. That’s the only way relationships work … and the customer-business is a relationship. That sometimes gets lost … and everybody loses. I think one side loses trust … that’s never a good thing.
That’s why communication is so important … if people understand the reasons – if it makes sense – people will trust.
For example, a funny guy – Mitch Hedberg (R.I.P.) – known for his clever take on things, once said “ I bought a doughnut and they gave a receipt for the doughnut. I don’t need a receipt for the doughnut. I’ll just give you the money, and you give me the doughnut – end of the transaction. I can’t imagine a scenario where I need a receipt for a doughnut.” Yeah … I get it. But, the receipt isn’t for him … the receipt is needed for the store to keep track of what they sell and that everything gets rung-up.
Same thing with staying on the cart path. It was annoying, but it was necessary for the golf course to stay in good shape.
We have days reserved for our leagues. Tuesday is Ladies Day. You have to be in the league to play on Tuesday. Thursday is Mens Day. You have to be in the league to play on Thursday. This gives league members the opportunity to play every week at their own tee time … a pretty cool thing. We don’t open up any of those times – we’re committed to the league members. So, we ask them to commit to playing on league day. How else can we make this work? It has to be a two-way street.
But it also has to be communicated. We need to make the situation clear to league members. Most people would agree once they understand why it has to be that way.
Communication. You always hear so much about it that it seems cliche … but it’s not. Down here I play a variety of courses from dog-tracks to elite … and everything in between. My favorite place is elite … but that’s not the main reason I like it. The staff is great. They’re friendly – yet genuine. They’re good people – who actually like people … they don’t have to fake it. Nearby is another elite club (not as elite) but has a pretentious staff and atmosphere that makes my skin crawl. The place that I play the most is a dog-track. However, I play with a great group of guys and that makes-up for the conditions (sort-of).
I think what most of us want is quality and genuine hospitality – not fake. We don’t need fancy – we want quality. And we sure don’t want pretentious or just rude.
Tha’ts what I want as a customer … and I hope we do that at DRGC.
GM/Head PGA Professional
Deer Run Golf Club
8661 Deer Run Drive
Victoria, MN 55386