How to view your club from the player’s point of view


First and foremost, clubs need to listen to the players and to view themselves through the eyes of the player in order to be able to assess and fulfill their needs. Regrettably, too many clubs do not make the effort to fully understand the player point of view, resulting in misguided assumptions about player needs and characteristics.

The game is evolving. Sports is more accessible than ever before and attracts a wide variety of player segments with lots of different needs. Still, many clubs operate with the same flat policies and approaches they did 20 to 30 years ago, and the way clubs approach club management has generally remained the same. Who are your customers and what do they need? - these are extremely basic concepts, but it is imperative that they are not taken for granted.

The player journey from touchpoint to touchpoint

The player journey map is an effective tool that can help clubs envision and anticipate player needs, and it is a great first step to becoming familiar with the player point of view. This technique breaks down the player journey and visually maps a player’s visit by identifying all the touchpoints that you and your team need to be aware of.

The first and most important point of the player journey map is that playing golf is just a small part of the overall experience. The journey is made up of a long interconnected chain of touchpoints that connect service areas to one another, and players should have a smooth and seamless experience between the various touchpoints.

Touchpoints Wheel.PNG

Generally speaking, clubs need to consider the player journey before arrival, at arrival, when playing golf, after playing, and in the follow-up. By gauging player satisfaction at the various touchpoints where players receive a service or engage with staff you can obtain performance indicators that empower you to focus your efforts and maximize customer experience.

Playing sport is a complex experience and a wide variety of touchpoints affect player satisfaction. Clubs who fail to view themselves from the player perspective might make the assumption that good greens are all they really need, while in reality the players’ experiences are much more nuanced.

Some services are expected, such as full sand bottles in golf carts and adequate practice facilities, and while there is not much to gain by fulfilling theses expectations, if they are unfulfilled it may be strike one with the customer. Failed touchpoints add up and, although they may be overcome by successful touchpoints, if players are faced with too many unfulfilled expectations they will surely be determined to hit back, and you risk making a Detractor out of a possible Promoter. On the other hand, a strong, well-functioning chain of touchpoints will add up and result in great experiences for your members and guests.

Different journey maps for each player segment

Detailed player journey maps for different player segments will equip you to match your services to the distinct needs of the player segments that are most important to your club. Different player segments, such as members, guests, youth and senior players, as well as different events, corporate or otherwise, each involve a different journey map. It all depends on how the players would meet the services that your club provides.

No matter the club, the purpose is the same: To deliver the best possible experience to the players. Different journeys simply call for different questionnaires, so to make it easy for our client clubs Players 1st and the associated industry bodies have designed plug and play survey templates for golf courses to implement based on a variety of distinct journey maps.

Morten Bisgaard