Market research is your best friend. It can tell you what your customers think of your product and how they would like to see it improved. One of the great advantages you have is the multiple opportunities you have to talk directly to your customers. You talk to them on he phone when they book a tee time. You could talk to them in the car park when they first arrive at the course You talk to them at the cash register when they pay for the round. You can even talk to them on the range warming up for them game of golf or coming off the course after their round.
But, one of your biggest assets is your starter. He has customers milling about him all day long. They are talking about previous rounds and rival golf courses. they are talking about equipment and restaurants. Your starter is your best opportunity to talk directly to your customer. each week you can arm your starter with a few key questions for each group and by the end of the weekend you’ll have all the information you need to make sure that your facility is servicing your base to the best of its ability.
I have heard the argument that its tough to motivate your volunteer staff for much more than a free round of golf but I would bet that if you engaged them more in the decision making process they’d go above and beyond to help you with the research. You don’t need your entire staff on board (though it would help) – using your Top 10% will probably get you more new opportunities than you could imagine. I mean, can you imagine what happens when you do nothing?