9 holes with… Jon Dry

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick April 30, 2020 04:04

The general manager of Fulford Golf Club in York talks about the challenges involved in managing a leading venue, how Covid-19 has dominated his work in recent weeks and how the club markets itself.

How would you describe the golf club in one sentence?

Fulford is a club with an incredible history of holding elite professional and amateur events, whilst offering a course and club to our members to enjoy on a daily basis, creating memories which last a lifetime.

What does an average day in the club, from start to finish, entail?

An average day at the club as a manager? One of the great things about being a general manager is that no day is the same. I am in a fortunate position that much of my day is about supporting our staff and members to allow the club to flourish.

Jon Dry

What do you find are the biggest challenges managing the club today?

My response to this would have been different a few weeks ago but it has to now be dealing with the challenges posed to us by Covid 19.

Trying to balance the best interests of the club with being understanding to the challenges our members face both personally and financially is key. Knowing when to stand firm and when to provide support. Thankfully on the whole our members are very supportive of the club so it is important we show them the same level of support during these challenging times.

What are you doing to entice new members to join the club ? And ensure existing ones keep renewing?

We are trying to use the concept of marginal gains to try and make sure the golfing experience for all of our members and guests keeps them wanting to come back.

By looking at every aspect of the club and trying to improve it gradually results in a big step forward but without changing too much that you upset your long standing loyal members.

Fulford Golf Club

How do you market the club to visitors?

This year we have purposely moved more of our advertising budget to utilise our ‘Top 100’ ranking as I want to ensure the average green fee price is increased, therefore seeing greater income from our visitors but not increasing the number of bookings. By using partnerships with other local clubs, hotels and attractions we are able to offer a greater experience and better value for money.

Given all the challenges the golf industry has faced in the last few years, how much does the club rely on non-golfing additional revenue streams?

Not a huge amount currently. I am keen to explore the use of our meeting rooms as York is a popular city for meetings but parking is always a challenge. This then becomes a good revenue stream with no impact on our members. By improving the offering in this area we also add greater value to our members as they have an area which they can make calls, send emails and avoid having to use local coffee shops to work from.

The club uses Club Systems software. How has it benefited you?

I feel Club Systems provides an incredible customer experience for our members. The ability to be able to communicate with the membership and send subscriptions via email helps the office team, but the USP for Club Systems is the interactive facilities where members can access scores, club information, top up levies and so on. It is a great package for both club and member.

Fulford Golf Club

Would you recommend it to other golf clubs?

Of course. I always like to work with companies I can trust and call upon at a time of need and I have found the support from Club Systems superb so far.

Name something that makes your life as a golf manager easier every day?

I would say the ability to enjoy the company of my team. We have an incredible team of staff at Fulford and the passion they show for their work on a daily basis is infectious.

It has been a delight to witness the care and love for the club over recent weeks as we have been facing the challenges of Covid 19. The staff are a huge part of any club and I am very proud to have them working with me at Fulford.

 

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick April 30, 2020 04:04
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