Probably not many of us can remember what was like the Essendon Country Club before 2012. Before the acquisition by Kieran and Liam Griffin, the ‘maiden name’ of the club was Hatfield London Golf Club. Its 6,808-yard Old course was designed by renowned golf course architect, Fred Hawtree, and opened for play in 1976 while the 6,938-yard New Course is the work of the Landscape Design Company and was opened in 1992.
After the acquisition, Hatfield London Golf Club went through a recovery process. One of the first steps was the rebranding. The new owners gave a more distinctive name to the club. I don’t understand why the original owners gave such name to the club when it is not near to Hatfield or London.
They also had to find an answer how can they attract more golf club members since in 2012 they had only 268 members (today it is above 837). It is also interesting that Essendon Country Club in those days didn’t have a full-time PGA Pro and the society rate was £10 a head.
Just like in 2013, this year the golf club is building a new state-of-the-art short-game facility from scratch. They are also planning to redesign the New Course’s closing hole, transforming it from a par-4 to a risk-reward par-5. I would modify the hole such way that it would reward golfers for their ability to control the flight of the ball through swing technique (=shot-making architecture concept). The renovation will be completed by the end of summer 2016.
Despite the ambitious renovation programs (e.g. greens and drainage) in the last 3 years, I still have not heard about how will the Essendon Country Club achieve a more sustainable golf course operation. Furthermore, I would define what kind of customer experience the club should provide to its members to be able to acquire new and retain existing ones. To achieve this, the Essendon Country Club should detect possible customer journeys and measure customer satisfaction.