By Myles Leong, Golf Operations Manager for Langara & Fraserview Golf Course
Just because the golf season is winding down, doesn’t mean the work is. The off-season (or slow season if you’re open year-round) is a great time to evaluate the months past and the perfect opportunity to prepare for the upcoming season.
Looking Back - The quieter months means it’s time to review the successes and challenges of the past season. This can include, but is not limited to: scheduling tactics, budgets, inventory and other areas that you may not have had the chance to assess throughout the busy season. What opportunities did you miss? What did you spend too much time or money on? Take the time to write down the highs and the lows and brainstorm a game plan: what worked, what didn’t and what could be done next time.
Feedback - This is the perfect time for employee performance reviews and exit interviews. Sit down and conduct your one-on-one interviews – do you want to invite them back next year or is it time to move in a different direction? If it’s time to move on, create a timeline to determine when to begin your hiring process. Leave enough time for your new team members to be hired and fully trained prior to the beginning of new season. This is also an opportunity to gain feedback from your employees about their work environment and responsibilities, encourage any ideas they have or explore additional ways they could contribute with the skills they have. It’s a two-way street!
Look Around - Take a look around the Pro Shop, Practice or Driving Range and the course in general. It’s time to complete the nitty-gritty stuff: power cart maintenance (tune-ups, oil changes, and pressure washing); pull cart maintenance; streamlining the Pro Shop and back room to make space for the new season’s inventory; clearing out unnecessary items (empty boxes, needless display units), and continuing to sell through all remaining inventory before the new items arrives. Carpet cleaning, paint jobs and more – this is the perfect time for a refresh.
Look Forward - You’ve sussed out what worked and what didn’t, you’ve retained or hired new employees and dealt with the facility’s ‘hardware’ – now it’s time to plan out your tournaments, events, your retail plan and marketing for next year. Create a calendar with the year’s events such as Opening Day for the clubs, demo days, tournaments, and your weekly or monthly promotions like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. What retail events can be worked in around this? Slot in your goals and budgets for the upcoming season and then create a marketing plan to help reach these.
Go! - Anything that can be done to put less strain on yourself and your team when new season gets going should be completed now. When the busy golf season starts again, you’ll be thankful that you did all the hard work before-hand.
Enjoy this quiet planning time, because before you know it, golf season will be back in full swing!