Create a One Stop Shop Reputation

john-grotheJohn Grothe, the 2004 Pacific Northwest Section Merchandiser of the Year for Resort Facilities and the 2008 Golf Professional of the Year in the Oregon Chapter of the Pacific Northwest Section, is the PGA head professional at OGA Golf Course in Woodburn, Oregon.

When working with tournament coordinators for outings, you have to be able to cover all event-planning details. Many of these coordinators do not have much tournament administration and planning experience. I make sure to cover all bases so that the tournament runs as smoothly as possible. It’s important to ask all the right questions and to keep them up to speed with everything that will occur during the tournament. We go over the scoring and tiebreaking scenarios because of the inexperience many coordinators have walking into the event. We cover all of the details about the food & beverage operation, such as when to serve lunch, cart service, snacks, etc. It’s key to make sure a fair price is settled and doesn’t deviate from the beginning. Nickel-and-diming someone can lead to aggravation, so our costs from the very beginning are all-inclusive. My goal is to make sure everyone involved feels they received value out of their outing, from the first time we contact each other until the final invoice is sent. The most important part any outing is to incorporate “the big E”, which stands for Experience. Ultimately, people come out for events because they want to get away from real life and have a good time for a few hours. We want to make it a memorable experience for all parties involved. If you come to OGA for an outing, I’ll make sure that the tournament coordinator is educated before the event kicks off. Making these events seamless and enjoyable is the goal, and the best way to arrive at that goal is to prepare for every step of the way.

The repeat/referral business is huge for us here. While it’s hard to quantify, I can tell you that many people that we have done business with have told their friends about our services. When we put out our exit survey, one of the questions on there is “Would you refer us to a friend?” I take this question very seriously, and if the answer is “no,” we try to find out why. We’ve had many companies who come to us for multiple outings each year. Looking at rounds played per year, we increased our total 80 percent from 2011 to 2012. Relationship-building is key, and developing trust with multiple clients will only help grow your business.

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Editor’s note: The above comments reflect the opinion and experiences of the submitting PGA Professional and are not endorsed by PGA Magazine or the PGA of America.