How will The Fountaingrove Club revive?

By: January 16, 2019

Do you remember the Tubbs Fire of October 2017? It was, at the time, the most destructive wildfire in California history, burning parts of Napa, Sonoma, but The Fountaingrove Club as well.

The Fountaingrove Club

The fire destroyed 5,643 structures in Santa Rosa including The Fountaingrove Club’s clubhouse and maintenance facility.

The Fountaingrove Club is a member-owned private club located in Santa Rosa, California.

In 2019, the club will break ground on a new clubhouse.

In the interim and while the new clubhouse is being built, the club’s 10,000 square-foot Athletic Center which went unscathed in the Tubbs Fire, is the center of club and community activities.

Another change in the life of The Fountaingrove Club is a new golf club management company.

Troon Privé, Troon’s private club operations division has been selected to manage the club.

The Fountaingrove Golf Club a private golf club

The Fountaingrove Club features

  • Ted Robinson Sr.-designed golf course with great views of the Hood and Taylor Mountains as well as the rolling hills of Santa Rosa Valley.
    The golf course was also spared from the Tubbs Fire and has remained fully operational, hosting member play and numerous tournaments. 
  • As part of the expansive Athletic Center complex, there are 5 tennis courts and a 25-yard infinity swimming pool. Members also enjoy an impressive array of fitness opportunities including martial arts, yoga, aquatics, personal training, spin and strength training.

If I were in charge of the development of the new clubhouse, I would follow the example of Carnoustie Golf Links and the Spanish PGA Catalunya Resort.

Although both of them have got different style, but what is common in them is they are very relaxed, but elegant at the same time.

They also try to embrace community.

I cannot avoid asking the following question from the real owners of the club:

Do you know what matters most to your customers/guests? In other words, what do your customers value emotionally the most + what drives them?

Let’s move beyond assumptions!

We should step away from assumptions and look at a certain topic (in this case, the design and construction of the new clubhouse) with fresh eyes.

I would study the club members’ experiences and behavior and even the behavior of different employees (see employee experience).

Without conducting qualitative & quantitative researches we will not be able to avoid using assumptions. Research is crucial in service design.

A good starting point is to take a look at what is already at our disposal. Let’s start with:

  • Asking our employees (e.g. clubhouse team, F&B manager etc.) about our needs, expectations, behavior etc. But first, try to understand their role in the customer experience and the touchpoints most relevant to them.
  • When you are interviewing your employees, ask these questions: When are they most frustrated? What delights them? What are the potential ‘moments of truth’ (= the points in the relationship with a customer where you have the opportunity to earn their true loyalty by engaging with them.). The ‘moment of truth’ has got 2 categories: Moments of Pain & Moments of Glory.
  • Checking what are the most used or unused services and areas of the clubhouse.
  • Checking & analyzing the reports of the club management software.
  • Analyze your NPS scores! (across the customer lifecycle)
  • Analyzing the reviews of members on the review sites + what they say about the clubhouse in social media.

Have you got an analytics expert or business intelligence expert in your golf club management team?

They will be a great asset for you to gain information from raw data.