In this featured GOT VISION Facility John King of the EGCOA speaks to Elliot Hamilton, Chief Executive of Hunley Hotel and Golf Club on the North Yorkshire Coast. From night golf with Dj’s to Wifi on the golf course Hunley’s GOT VISION.
Friendship at Hunley
”The golf industry seems to have a big opportunity to make new comers really part of the community of golfers by not only focusing on the ability of the newcomer, but also on the social connection of that new player within the golf community. How do you work towards creating a sense of tribe and community to attract and retain golfers at Hunley?”
”Our golf operations team work really hard to make new members feel part of the Hunley tribe right from the start with a comprehensive induction to the club. Once we have a good feel for the particular “tribe” the new member might fit into, we encourage early participation in fun and friendly events. So, for the average golfer we’ll invite them to join in our popular Friday Night league where new and longer-serving members are paired up in teams in a fun 9 hole roll-up. For beginners, it might be a group class of fellow newbies and Category 1 or 2 golfers are invited to join our mid-week scratch team practice sessions.
We never leave a new member to fend for themselves.”
Family & Female at Hunley
”Attracting Ladies & Juniors to the game is a key opportunity every golf facility. At Hunley what steps have you taken to make your facility more female and family friendly?”
”We recognise this as the golf market of the future. So to help increase our female and family business, over the coming year we’ll be converting our tees to colour rather than retain the old gender specific tees.
We’ve overhauled our Bar and Brasserie to appeal more to ladies and families both in terms of decor and in terms of menu options. Our Pro Shop stocks a good proportion of ladies and childrens clothing and equipement and as for our offering to Juniors (which is so fundament to our future), we’ve completely overhauled our Junior program to have huge appeal to under 18s. And on top of that, we’re expecting our new 9 hole par 3 course to be a huge hit with families too.”
Fun at Hunley
Lets face it, golf has got a bad wrap in the past as a dull, slow game played primarily by those of an elite status. What do you do at Hunley to make the game more approachable, fun and appealing and to shake these aged misconceptions?
The fun element of golf starts for us with our golf operations team who still have a sincere passion for the game which they share with our members and guests every day. Beyond this, our imminent roll-out of wifi across the courses will no doubt encourage golfers to have fun playing while competing with their friends using real-time leaderboard apps and sharing their enjoyment across social media platforms.
We’ve even got plans for floodlit golf evening on the new short course with a DJ and a bar and hack-golf sized (15″) holes.
Flexibility at Hunley
”After roughly 400 years the time has come for golf to change the two product strategy: from just selling unlimited playing in membership and one round green fee to a variation of products. Different phases in life and different life styles need different products. How have you adapted to the flexible needs on the modern consumer at Hunley?”
”Like many clubs, we recognised that the traditional “one-size fits all” options no longer fitted as many people as we wanted. So over the last 12 months, we’ve introduced a flexible points-based membership which has proved extremely popular with all segments of the market. It’s been used as a stepping stone to and from full membership and overall has brought and retained more golfers than we would otherwise have had.
With a starter driving-range membership and soon to be introduced “Par 3 course” membership, we’ll shortly have a complete suite of options to suit all ages, standards and time rich/poor golfers. ”