In the first part of this interview series I asked 3 leading golf clubs’ leaders about digital transformation and pricing trends in golf clubs:
- Javier Reviriego – CEO/General Manager – Real Club Valderrama
- David Ashington – Director of Sales & Hospitality – Monte Rei Golf & Country Club
- Julián Romaguera – General Manager – Los Naranjos Golf Club
This time I am asking Peter Nyberg, the CEO of the Estonian Pärnu Bay Golf Links (designed by Lassi Pekka Tilander, Par-72 course, 6200m).
What are the key drivers of digital transformation in your golf club?
Although our club celebrates five (5) years 2020 we don’t have club members. Players can apply for “seasonal tickets” and this has attracted players in the age of, average 45.
Estonians are world leaders when it comes to using new technology and this became obvious when we introduced our Lightspeed (Chronogolf) booking & sales system, it took only one day to implement.
We know that most of our customers prefer to use their cellphones when they look at our home-page and social media. This will force us to adapt our information in a presentable way so that customers like what they see and it must contain important updates.
Social media is something we encourage staff to use posting, in principle, everything they feel would be appreciated for people to read about.
This has built a great platform for us and we can now communicate with golfers in all parts of the world. It is not just a platform that creates sales it is more a place where we have the possibility to show who we are and that we really like to connect.
We are constantly looking at ways on how to make life as easy as possible for our visitors.
People, and especially golfers are in a hurry, they visit many other clubs, they compare and my feeling is that they will return to clubs that offer visitors, swift and comfortable service.
This is what we are aiming for and we will use the latest technology to get there.
“This is what we are aiming for and we will use the latest technology to get there.”
How do you improve the golf club membership payment discipline?
In today’s business membership payments are handled by their bank and if not, we can provide different solutions. We get paid from our bank when a member starts to play and the player settles the payments with the bank.
How do you mitigate the size of discounts on membership fees, green fees, pro-shop prices, etc.?
We don’t give any discounts on membership fees but our seasonal ticket holders receive 10% in shop and restaurant.
This is because we see them as our “ambassadors”. They frequently visit us, they know our business, they bring guests and promote our products.
I have seen many clubs that offer all sorts of discounts but this is a dangerous route. You need to stand up for your products because if you don’t people expect discounts.
My experience is that people will understand if you just tell them what type of margins you have and how this is reflected in your pricing.
If a player likes to play a course that is in fantastic condition it requires a higher price than other courses with lower ambitions. The same applies to almost everything in life, like cars, apartments, hotels, restaurants, clothing, etc.
“Discounts over 10% can hurt the business and jeopardize the quality of the products”