South Shore Country Club – Low Hanging Fruit

April 26, 2009

I’m a golfer. Sometimes. Recreationally.

And one of the things I’ve learned over the years of playing different golf courses is that some facilities are very adept at capitalizing on the simple revenue builders that present themselves.

Others, like South Shore Country Club in Hingham, fall dismally short of creating a win-win for their bottom line and their patrons.

What am I talking about? Let’s go with real-world examples, shall we?

My brother and I were on the eighth hole at South Shore and we felt some hunger pangs. We looked at each other and agreed that we should call the clubhouse and order some lunch.

1 – The reason we had to call ahead was because the snack shack at the turn was closed. On a Saturday. In the middle of the day.

2 – When we called the pro shop, they said they didn’t have the phone number for the restaurant. Good work.

3 – Thankfully I had an iPhone with me. I went online and found the restaurant/catering number. We called it. The phone rang and then went to voicemail.

What’s the story? No snacks sold because the shack was closed. A quick $2 hot dog and a Gatorade sold to us instead of two $7 sandwiches.

Put a phone in at the eighth tee box that rings directly in the kitchen. Guessing that 50%+ of people playing would call ahead for a meal.

ALSO, if people could call ahead for their meal, the course would see more play and generate more revenue.

How? Because the people who still need to eat after nine holes are going to slow up play while they wait for the ONE person working on a Saturday to get their hot dogs.

Other failures during Saturday’s round? No water in many of the coolers on the course. No ranger on the course ANYWHERE at any time…ON A SATURDAY. And finally, the starter was hanging out in the pro shop while cart after cart of players lined up at the tee box, bogging down play for the rest of the day.

By the way, golf courses aren’t alone in this. My friend Rachel Happe just had an interminable 11-hour ride on the Amtrak Acela train. She told the world via Twitter that the train had no food in the cafe car and that the train – supposedly a modern transportation marvel – was not wired for Wifi.

Are companies not thinking about how to make a buck? Are they that complacent?

No wonder we’re in a depression/recession.

What failures to capitalize have you seen lately? Please share in the notes here.