Sunday, March 13, 2016

Levin Golf Club as an example of Cultural Well-being

My experience at Levin Golf Club on Saturday 12th March 2016

On Saturday I played golf at Levin Golf Course, I play every Saturday if I can, but this time I played at a neighbouring Club.   

First let me re introduce myself.

My area of expertise is recreational management.     I have a masters’ degree in recreation management and cultural studies.  I have had CEO and senior management experience in the cultural and recreational sectors.  Also I have written countless Marketing and Business Plans for many organisations, including a Golf Club.    My other expert area is cultural well-being and economics and my experience on Saturday morning showed me that a golf course can provide a wonderful experience and can be an excellent example of cultural well-being while at the same time being economically sustainable.  I am constantly looking for examples of good practice, particularly when there is a balance between economic, social, cultural and environmental well-being.
On Saturday morning I found a really good example.   I was a visitor at Levin Golf Course as my own course Otaki Golf Course was closed for the morning for interclub competitions.

First we arrived at about 7.40am and the office was open. We got our golf cards and I was made welcome. I bought some golf equipment and had a short discussion with a welcoming woman in the office.     I then went to the women’s locker room.   It was also welcoming - very clean, towels available and a range of toiletries, including hand creams, shampoos, soaps and tissues.   The layout was easy with with a door from the club-rooms and out back to the car park.
Our tee of was comfortable and a little ahead of the time we had booked. The course was in good condition, rough not too rough, greens fast and firm.  The fairways had been recently cut, and the bunkers raked and just waiting to grab my ball!      There are a mix of really interesting holes and boring holes.  Pity my golf wasn’t slightly better, but it was not the fault of the course.   The course was very busy, but there was no waiting around.   A slight wait on a couple of Par 3’s, but nothing to delay our round for more than a couple of minutes.
 Half way around we passed the tee-off area where a significant number of women were getting ready to play and some teeing off.     They were a friendly lot and I think every one of them welcomed me to the course.    “Are you having a good round?”  “Welcome to Levin Golf Club!”   “What is it like out there this morning?”   “You must have been out early this morning, must have been a bit cold.. “     All interactive questions and I was made to feel really part of the course.

At the 10th hole there is a toilet, really handy and perfectly placed before the second half of the course.

The next few holes are very interesting and the 10th challenging, followed by a string of interesting holes, and then by some less interesting, but certainly a range of greens, bunkers, up and down holes.    Nothing too difficult, but not played well by me!

When I got back to the 18th hole there is a comfortable outdoor table and bench to fill in cards, watch the 18th hole and then a very easy place to clean the wheels of my trolley.    
Then up to the club house and into the locker room.   Again an excellent experience.    The women’s locker room so comfortable, easy to change shoes.  I could have had a shower if I had wanted to, and a friendly person who while she took off her shoes chattered away with a clear welcome.  

The club house is on the same level as the club room so after changing shoes and using the facilities I went and joined my friends in the Club room. 
The food is amazing and is one of the features of Levin Golf Course.  My pie came with chips, tomato sauce. Others had full meals, all part of the welcome.    The woman who had greeted us at 7.40 was also serving at the bar and there was a range of drinks at reasonable prices.  

The Club rooms are comfortable, food great and the atmosphere warm.   We could also have gone outside if we had wanted too, but stayed in the club-rooms watching the competition score charts being displayed on a screen on the wall as they were entered into the computer.

I tell you this experience because it demonstrated to me an excellent example of good product presentation and as a marketing example, totally perfect.  

The course was full of people, both men and women, from players were young people, working people and the elderly.  All players were courteous, welcoming and the whole culture of the club showed that it had balanced the needs of members with the need to earn green-fees.      

Congratulations Levin Golf Course.   

Penny Eames
Member Otaki Golf Club

13 March 2016