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Mystery golf club shoppers tee off

MYSTERY shoppers have been teeing off at Welsh golf clubs as part of a new Golf Development Wales initiative aimed at improving standards.

Over the past six months the team at GDW have been working closely with a group of dedicated volunteers in identifying areas of good practice, which should be encountered during a visit to a golf club.

The mystery shopper scheme is only at clubs who have asked to take part. It followed on from discussions about what could help Welsh golf clubs become more attractive to visitors for the benefit of those clubs.

The GDW group will not just focus on the condition of the course and facilities, but will look to capture the customer experience as well as the club’s ability to capture data, encourage loyalty re-visits, identify potential new members and, most importantly, communication after the visit.

The Mystery Shoppers are made up of golf club members, society golfers, nomadic golfers from across Wales and bring a wealth of experience from their individual backgrounds to the team.

The service is free of charge to any Golf Union Wales affiliated club, with only the cost being to reimburse the green fees paid and a food and drink reimbursement of £10 maximum per mystery shopper.

Clubs who are interested in the initiative should contact their Golf Development Wales regional development officer to discuss.

The Mystery Shoppers have been officially deployed since the start of May to go to clubs who have requested visits.

Dilwyn Griffiths, the North Wales development officer who undertook the training of the Mystery Shoppers, commented, “This Mystery Shopper Scheme is a great opportunity for us officers to provide constructive feedback to our golf clubs on the experience encountered during a visit to the clubs.

“Over the past few years both Golf Development Wales strategies and roadshows provided by the Golf Union Wales have encouraged clubs to adopt a robust business approach, with emphasis on customer care, communication, data collection, driving repeat business, recruitment and retention.

“The mystery shoppers will hone in on these areas, providing feedback as to whether the club capitalised upon their visit and provided a positive and enjoyable value-for-money experience”.

To date one visit has occurred and the feedback provided post-visit was used extremely constructively by the club in question. It is anticipated that there will be a high demand for the Mystery Shopper Scheme therefore clubs are encouraged to contact GDW early to enroll on the scheme for 2016.

Further information can be obtained from your regional development officer, Dilwyn Griffiths –