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Time for clubs to wake up, says Steve

THE boss of Denbighshire golf course and driving range is on a mission to help other golf clubs in the UK attract more golfers and in turn address the decline of golf in general.

Steve Mueller, owner of North Wales Golf Range and Golf Course, near St Asaph, said: “We’ve all enjoyed the good times of golf and golfers in abundance, when attracting keen players was easy and all it required was a well maintained course, but I’ve heard of far too many clubs falling by the wayside lately, so I thought something needed to be done about it.”

Steve, who has run the business with his father since 2003, has enjoyed some very successful years along the way, right up until the economic decline.

“As soon as the public started tightening their belts as far as spending was concerned, leisure and luxury items were the first industries to suffer. Then we blamed the weather – it was too hot, too cold, too wet; we even looked to major sporting events such as the World Cup keeping golfers at home glued to the TV.

“It’s excuses like these which seem to have led some golf clubs to accept that they’ve done everything they can and they can’t trade any longer due to a decline in business.”

Refusing to believe that these were valid reasons, Steve went all out to discover how to increase trade and how to survive in what has become much more of a ‘digital era’. This attitude has seen them have some really impressive results, through implementing lots in to the business to see what works.

“At a time when other clubs were spending less, having to get rid of greenkeepers and also making cuts to membership fees, we were going all out and managed to see a 60% increase in trade, even taking on a new greenkeeper,” explained Steve.

It was at this point that a friend of his suggested scaling what he had learnt, to show other golf clubs how to emulate his success, hence the start of a new website ‘Local Golf Club’.

“Through everything I’ve learnt about getting and keeping customers, I find it amazing all the ways there are to promote your business and get in front of the relevant people, a lot of them for FREE. ‘You don’t know what you don’t know’ is something that has rung true for me along the way, so to enable me to speak to the right people in the golf industry who can make the difference, I’ve set up a club directory where you can show golfers what facilities you have and also be reviewed.

“This alone provides another link to your site and also some testimonials to show prospective golfers what your existing golfers love about you! I’m really passionate about doing this and having other golf clubs achieve what we have.

“Too many clubs think word of mouth is more effective than it actually is, when in truth, the way to grab people’s attention is changing and golf needs to get with the times or it’s not going to be sustainable for many clubs much longer.”

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