Golf Course


The Golf Shoppers, LLC today announced the launch of a new consulting service that will enable golf course owners to get a look at their business from where it really counts, from the customer’s point of view.

The Golf Shoppers use covert video cameras to record what a customer’s experience at the golf course is truly like. “All owners and operators talk about customer service at some point, but how can they be sure that their vision of how a customer should be treated is the same as the vision of their employees?” says Managing Partner Sam Shumate. “I formed The Golf Shoppers to provide golf course owners with the information necessary to determine if their expectation of customer service is consistent with what’s being provided by their employees”.

“When we sit down to consult with an owner we ask them how they’re differentiating themselves from the competition. That’s a question that golf course owners everywhere should be asking themselves if they aren’t already. The golf course owners who will thrive in these market conditions are the ones that have the experience and the resources to separate themselves from the competition through superior maintenance, superior marketing or by simply having a superior location. Unfortunately, achieving superior status in any one of those areas can be expensive and in some cases impossible. The most cost-effective way to achieve separation within the market is through superior customer service on a consistent basis.”

While third party mystery shopping is not new to the golf industry, video mystery shopping is. Shumate saw this technology being used in other fields and researched how it could be implemented within the golf industry. “The learning curve has been steep”, he says. “We as a company were most concerned with the legality of the service and we spent a great deal of time and money getting comfortable with those issues”. So is it legal? According to Shumate the laws change from state to state.

“Depending on the laws of the state in which a course is located, we may or may not have to get the informed consent of the employee to be taped. However, regardless of where we work we’ll ask the owner to inform the employees that the golf course will be using our service as part of ongoing training and also have his or her employees sign a consent form.” In fact, Shumate says that his company won’t even bring their equipment on the property without signed employee consent forms. “The purpose of the service isn’t to deceive employees, it’s to train them to be more effective in their jobs.”

As a golf course owner himself Shumate has very pointed opinions about the long term health of his industry. “The golf business as a whole is in a state of flux and if we as golf course owners don’t take a proactive stance to improve the customer’s experience and encourage continued participation then we will be the losers. The public has thousands of industries that are more than happy to give them ways to spend their discretionary dollars so it’s imperative that we keep reminding ourselves that it’s about keeping the customer happy. Unfortunately, not all owners see that.” Shumate adds, “Those who do will be the ones who reap the benefits. Hopefully, they’ll let The Golf Shoppers help show them the way.”


The Golf Shoppers, LLC is a full service golf course consulting firm based in Charlotte, North Carolina specializing in customer service profiling, e-marketing and data base management.

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