1. During a busy day early in the season, several groups legitimately complain about the slow pace of play on the course. Do you… a. Apologize for the slow play but explain that your Players Assistants were doing the best they could to keep play moving? b. Explain to the golfers that it was a busy day and slow play is to be expected particularly early in the season? c. Tell them that you understand that play was unusually slow today and offer them a discount voucher for their  inconvenience and ask them to please come out and try the course again? d. Tell them that you are not surprised as you saw many bad players out on the course today? Answer: Although A, B and D may all be very true, none of those answers will bring any satisfaction to the golfers and CUSTOMER SATISFACTION is the number one priority. Discounting golf is certainly not the answer to everything – but the course is obviously having a good day (causing slow play) and you want to cultivate as many happy customers as possible.

  2. Your club policy is that employees must request days off two weeks in advance for scheduling purposes. A usually very reliable part-time staff member comes to you and informs you that he needs the next three days off because of a wonderful opportunity that just came his way. You are already short staffed because of others who had requested off a couple of weeks ago. You… a. Reiterate the policy and explain that you can’t give him the days off. b. Let him know that you’ll be glad to cover for him even though you’re short-handed and to have a great trip. c. Let him know that he can have the time off as long as he can find someone to cover his shifts. d. Moan and complain about how difficult it will be to cover for him so that he feels bad about the late notice – but cover for him anyway. Answer: Reliable part time staff is hard to come by and are an essential component of any smooth running golf course. By allowing him to feel good about his opportunity, he will be much more productive when he returns, bringing with him a positive attitude and good morale. Answer C would seem to be a reasonable solution but it will very possibly cause extra stress and hard feelings between the staff members who can’t, won’t, or eventually do cover his shifts. Staff will be much more willing to cover if asked by the Director or Head Pro – thinking they will be banking some good will for later use.

  3. A golfer comes into the shop after having a confrontation with another group and ultimately your Player Assistant. He is very upset with the way he was spoken to by the PA and demands that something be done. He is a regular customer and influential in the community. Your PA has already made you aware that this individual was hitting into the group ahead of him on more than one occasion. When the PA approached him he became loud and abusive. You should… a. Apologize for the confrontation because “the customer is always right” and allow him to leave feeling good and limiting any negative publicity. b. Respond in a strong tone making sure he understands that hitting into other groups will not be tolerated and that your PA acted appropriately. c. Tell the customer that you will speak to your PA about the way he spoke to him and assure the customer that it will never happen again. d. Explain that you have already heard what happened from the PA’s point of view but would like to hear his side too. Discuss how the situation can be avoided in the future without demeaning the actions or authority of your PA. Answer: The trick is to neutralize the situation, take steps to prevent it from reoccurring, and to protect the integrity of your staff. Making a stand and lecturing on the customer’s wrong- doing may feel good and deserving, but will probably come back to haunt you at some point. It is very important that your staff understands that there is a right and wrong way to communicate with customers but that you will support them when they are forced into a difficult situation during the course of doing their job. Correct answer – D.

  4. Membership is down and a small group claiming to represent a contingency of 16 members comes to you because they have been offered a better deal to join a neighboring club. Do you… a. Tell them you will match the other club’s offer if the group will rejoin your club? b. Meet with the group to discuss a mutually beneficial resolution? c. Point out to the group the benefits of remaining at your club and impress upon them how much you value them as members? d. Advertise special pricing and incentives to all members to attract additional members while limiting the departure of current members? Answer: Members can be tough to come by, and at times, even tougher to keep happy. “The grass is always greener” philosophy does present challenges when trying to get members to rejoin year after year. Meeting with the group to discuss a possible resolution AND impressing upon them how much you value their memberships are both necessary steps. Often times the members just want to know that they are valued and are heard when it comes to golf course and membership issues. Matching the other club’s offer will most certainly be found out by your other members and will create a terrible situation. If the numbers continue to drop, advertising special pricing and incentives may become necessary – however, getting pulled into a price war with neighboring clubs will usually only benefit the golfers and hurt any and all of the clubs involved. Unfortunately, sometimes drastic measures must be put in place to get through difficult times. Correct answer – C.

  5. A group of eight have reserved two prime tee times on a Sunday morning. Four players show up and announce that the second foursome decided to cancel. You… a. Politely let the gentlemen know that they had reserved two tee times and that they will have to pay the greens fees for the time that will go unused. b. Politely let the gentlemen know that this is a prime time for the course and in the future you would appreciate their calling ahead to cancel the time. c. Don’t say anything and accept that this is part of the business. d. Make a note of the reservation for future reference and let the staff know that if a multiple reservation is made in that name again that the individual will have to leave a credit card number to secure the times and that it will be charged greens fees for any no shows. Answer: This is a common occurrence at golf courses that take advance reservations. Answer B is probably the best way to handle the situation at the time, but it would also be prudent to implement a policy to take a credit card number at the time of the reservation and let the person know that it is course procedure to charge a green fee for no-shows in prime hours of operation. The policy should be written down and all pro shop employees should know the policy. If you have to enforce the procedure, be sure to keep a record of the charge, day and time the  reservation was made and the name of the person. That way, you can have it available for a customer who disputes the charge or the credit card company disputing the charge.

  6. You are the Director of Golf Operations and a Certified Golf Instructor presents you with a plan to teach golf at your facility and bring students. When you present this to the golf pro, he resists and tells you he does not want any outside instructors teaching at his golf course. You… a. Tell the pro that it is not his decision and you are allowing the new teacher access, like it or not. b. Remind the pro that the goal of the course is to bring in business and that the instructor’s plan does not compete with the pro and that it will bring in new business to the facility. c. Discuss with the pro the benefits of having an individual that will bring in new business and assure him that there is room for both to grow and prosper. d. Demand that the pro come up with a plan that will add the same revenue promised by the certified golf instructor’s proposal. Answer: It would be easy to just tell the pro that you make the decisions not him, but that would probably create hard feelings and cause more harm than good. It is always better to be up front and try to get people to see the bigger picture. Golf is a competitive business and convincing him in the long run that the more opportunities to improve the bottom line is good for everyone. C would be the best approach.

  7. A guest of a member of your golf club is having dinner in the main dinning room of the clubhouse. One of your wait staff informs the club manager that this person is receiving multiple calls on his cell phone and is annoying their members. Club policy clearly states that cell phones are not allowed in the main dinning room. Therefore, you respond in the following manner: a. Confront the member and reiterate the policy. b. Confiscate the cell phone from the guest and say it is against club policy but the phone can be picked up at your office after dinner. c. Do nothing. d. Tell the waiter to explain the policy. e. Show the member the written policy on a small business card you had developed for that purpose. Answer: E

  8. The starter on the first tee of your golf club calls you stating that Dr. Smith, a suspended member for nonpayment of dues, has just teed off with three guests. Dr. Smith has been a respected member of the community and a club member for seven years. How would you, the club manager, handle the situation? a. Tactfully escort Dr. Smith and his guests off the golf course. b Allow him and his guests to finish the round and ask Dr. Smith to see you in your office after the round. c. Have the ranger hand him a note reminding him of the situation and ask him to see you after play. d. Allow him to finish the round with his guests and telephone him the following day. Answer: B

  9. For your pro shop you need to decide what retail prices to set on apparel and equipment. To help determine, you need to find the gross margin percentage (GMP) in figuring these prices. The equation for GM is displayed: GMP = (Sale of goods—Cost of goods) / Sale of goods. Therefore, which one of the following is not included in calculating the GMP? a. Rent b. Cost of apparel and equipment c. Shipping cost of apparel and equipment d. Retail price Answer: The best answer is “A.” The cost of rent to house your equipment and apparel is definitely not part of the GMP equation. Hence, rent would be considered an indirect cost. Any cost directly related to equipment and apparel such as shipping and the wholesale price is part of cost of goods. And, to complete the calculation, the retail price (which is the sale of goods) is the other number required for the GMP.

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