Golf – Its such hard work

Twilight golf in Montana. There is simply nothing finer. In the summer, we have the pleasure of mild evenings that stay light and playable until 930pm or so. Typically it doesnt get truly dark till 10 or 1015pm. Yes, it’s light again at 5am so sleep well:)

For the last 2 years, Ive given my local golf course/ski resort roughly $450 so my 2 sons and I can golf on the cheap in the evenings at one of the finest public/private courses in the U.S.

I can work (or whatever) all day, come home and have dinner and still have time for 9 holes with my boys at the most gorgeous time of day….when everyone else is apparently watching American Idol or similar. It’s a great way to wind down and spend some great walk, golf and chat time with the boys at the end of the day.

Despite this obvious pleasure, and the revenue gained at a time of day when most golf courses are in expense mode, the resort’s marketing/sales staff insists on making me work to give them my money. Again I ask…Why?

They have my mailing address, email and phone number. They don’t use it.

I get no mailer in January asking me if I want to renew.

I get no email asking me to click on this link to place a secure twilight pass order on their web site.

I get no phone call from a minimum wage salesperson asking for my renewal.

I get no correspondence after tourist season, asking me if I want to take advantage of the after-peak specials for locals (as if there are some).

Knowing full well that the price goes up if I wait too long, I email the golf shop and the resort sales director in January, innocently asking if my order form was lost in the mail. Weeks go by without a reply. Im guessing these are the same people who would stop enjoying a sizzling Ruth’s Chris in mid-bite if their phone rang.

Finally, I break down and make the call to the golf shop. The golf pro answers and just like last year, I tell him that I didnt get an invite/reminder/order form for a twilight pass. We’ve danced this dance before. He takes my name, says he’ll honor the early bird price that ended Feb 1 and will mail me an order form. I thank him and think to myself, “At least the golf pro gets it”.

When the tourists aren’t around from March-June and September to November, guess who rents carts, buys malt beverages and buys food at the snack bar and brings their family and friends to their restaurant? You got it: locals.

Im guessing they don’t mail order forms to anyone and have no idea how successful their twilight program is.

What makes the Sun come up?

Ive been reading Jonathan Schwartz’s blog lately (he is the CTO of Sun, or something like that, such attention to detail).

As you would expect, it is written with a pretty narrow view of the world (with the Sun at the center of the universe, so to speak). I dont mind that given the source, but it is regularly colored with a fair amount of comments that sound as if they are coming from a cocky, self-serving, slam-other-vendors-cuz-its-all-Ive-got PR hack – and I think I know better. Im not sure he realizes how it comes off, but thats his problem.

The tone of it has me pretty close to bailing out on it because Im really not getting anything positive out of it and I dont need the negativity.

Today was a bright spot, as he discussed their recent financial performance. He mentioned the 11 words that are supposed to motivate and guide Sun’s staff.

They are in 5 sentences, which are:

1. Make money
2. Grow
3. Re-enlist champions
4. Leverage our partners
5. Simplify our business

Not a bad list, though I found it interesting that there is nothing there that is explicitly about the customer. Hello?