I was very happy this year when I learned that the London Golf Club website is being revamped and they want to do something to achieve carbon neutrality. In my recent interview with Stephen Follett (Chief Executive, London Golf Club), I tried to find out what they are doing to increase their competitiveness.
Where is London Golf Club in its digital transformation?
As a forward-thinking golf club, we are always striving to carve a path in the industry and be at the forefront in all aspects of our business. With the challenges that 2020 has brought to the industry and the changes it has made, we are trying to develop areas of our business – such as our website – and bring them into the new age of digital business.
How does Brexit affect London Golf Club?
Brexit has presented challenges for the golfing industry as a whole and mainly affected our business in such ways as: stock shortages, a lack of staff, delays in shipments, a decrease in travelling visitors, inflated pricing for materials, and wage increases amongst many other things.
How do you see the future of work in the golf industry?
Within the last year, we saw an uptake in interest for the golfing industry, with many new members joining the club and now plenty of visitors playing on our International course.
We believe the golf industry is expanding in its own way, especially with the ever-changing modern office and many companies offering working from home or flexible hours we have seen plenty of business done on the golf courses.
With the uptake we have seen, we feel that the future of work in this industry is hopeful. The levels of business we are experiencing are helping us to broaden our offering and challenge our staff to learn and grow in their career skills.
What new skills will be needed for golf club workers?
Each department has specific requirements in what skills the staff will need to perform their duties. We aim to offer our staff every opportunity to advance their knowledge and abilities, with regular training and development opportunities.
Whether this is coffee training with our local supplier to aid in our Food and Beverage speciality coffee and tea offering, or PGA Foundational Degree coursework with our Golf Shop operational staff.
We are always looking to expand our services to include the latest in health and well-being for our members and our staff. We have started adding new offerings in our Academy, such as golf-specific fitness training, personal training, and psychological services.
Our goal would be to cover all areas for the modern golfer – physical and mental health and well-being both on and off the course.
What are your biggest challenges in customer experience development?
As we are part of the European Tour Destinations network, we have the opportunity to be assessed each year through mystery shopper exercises. This helps our team to understand the customer journey and experience from every angle. Where our scores fall short helps to show us the areas we need to improve upon.
What are your membership challenges?
In the past year, we have capped our membership and created a waiting list for the first time in our club history. Previously, our membership challenges would have been finding new members from the local areas and retaining the members we already had.
However, now that there is such a demand and interest in joining, we find ourselves facing new challenges such as being able to offer plenty of tee times or spaces at our social events.
We also have to consider the changing demographics of membership and find the best way to keep an open line of communication and transparency with the wide variety of members we have here at the club.