May 2, 2023

How strong brands help golf clubs retain staff + create team culture

How strong brands help golf clubs retain staff + create team culture
How strong brands help golf clubs retain staff + create team culture
Reading Time
5 minutes

Golf club branding to attract & retain talented staff

Creating strong branding could help your golf club to create a great team culture (not only within your team but also your membership base) which solves a major problem facing golf clubs right now in the retention of staff and attracting talent.
The importance of retaining staff and minimising the disruption it creates when someone leaves is well known. Having a strong brand and culture can be instrumental in this as well as in attracting high quality candidates for new positions as they become available.

Create a sense of team belonging & pride.

Teams function and perform better when staff feel as though they belong to an organisation that is like an inclusive extended family. This can be done in numerous ways but a great place to start is with a high-quality uniform. When done well, team members will wear it with pride. All team members will have an opinion so it’s important not to open up the decision to everyone on what it looks like, but select a small, trusted team who can help in filtering feedback from the greater team (and remove singular team members from overall responsibility if some team members aren't 100% "on-board").
Office team members find it easier and faster to get ready for work each morning when they have a supplied uniform. It’s important to select high quality base apparel. Not only will it last longer (and in turn cost less money in the long run) but it will make team members feel proud when wearing it and valued that you supplied them with a high-quality garment.
Greenstaff often work very early in the morning and need a range of workwear that is suitable for the seasons. It needs to be high quality and hard wearing as it will ultimately take a lot of abuse in its lifespan. Shirts, sweaters, jackets, beanies, caps and even work pants need to be considered. Shirts which don’t reveal sweat on hot days will also help your team feel more comfortable in doing their specific duties.
Proshop staff will generally be looking for attire that doesn’t look out of place on a golf course and many team members here will appreciate golf specific brands such as Footjoy which can have your own club logo added to them. Golf trousers or shorts should also be considered along with the style of footwear that is suitable for demonstrating a golf swing in lessons along with doubling up with duties in the retail space.

Functions & hospitality team members will require uniforms that are comfortable, easy to clean and that will suit their role. For example front of house staff will be able to get away with lighter colours than kitchen and preparation staff. Distinguish the different roles and you may see similarities that could work with front of house staff and other roles to minimise the amount of different styles.
Volunteer Apparel is an amazing way to show your appreciation to volunteers who spend time assisting the club. Most volunteers are golfers and will appreciate golf specific apparel that they can also wear on the course which is also a nice way of recognising them for their contribution.
For more gruelling tasks that volunteers help with, it may be a great option to provide t-shirts so that they aren’t too concerned with getting their gear dirty during their tasks.
It’s an important step in the process to have samples made and be specific about things like logo size when having them embroidered or printed. Ask the designer to specify this on the artwork document so there can be no possible chance for the garment to be incorrectly decorated.
Another step which is worthwhile, is having all the available sizes in front of you when determining logo size as an XXS top may require a different sized logo than an XXL top. We have seen logos that look incredibly large and out of place on smaller sized team members and once the sizing has been determined and signed off upon, there is usually little way to change the print or embroidery if the size is deemed unsuitable after the fact.
Keep it fresh
Uniforms that are worn to the point of almost falling apart or are severely faded is not a good representation of your brand. Ensure that you select apparel that you can easily order from in future (so avoid discontinued lines or specials) and potentially schedule another run of apparel to be introduced with each major season change to keep your team looking fresh and morale high.  
To get you thinking of what could be created for your club's uniform;

  • Office shirts and blouses
  • Knitwear sweaters
  • Cardigans
  • Blazers
  • Polo shirts
  • Chinos and shirts
  • Trousers or shorts (dependant on role)
  • Caps
  • Hoodies for greenskeepers
  • Jackets
  • Beanies
  • T-shirts

The above list shows a small selection of what could be created for your staff. The potential for a merchandise in your pro shop extends to a far greater variety including golfing accessories.

Consider having an apparel line designed for greater reach

Once you have an established uniform with the team always looking great you can start to consider opening up a line for the pro shop with the club’s logo or if you are looking to attract a younger membership base, potentially have an identifiable apparel label designed to coincide with the club’s logo perhaps in a shortened form. Look to new golfing brands like Malbon for inspiration on how to combine an existing brand, with a fresh twist such as Malbon has undertaken with various collaborations with brands including Nike, Footjoy, Adidas and others.

golf apparel design Malbon
Image courtesy: Malbon

The value in branding well

Attracting and retaining talented staff is always a simpler task when your club has a brand reputation such as Royal Melbourne Golf Club or Augusta National. It all starts with addressing the key elements that extend much farther than a well maintained course such as branding and visibility. Creating a valuable brand will not only attract new members and give a sense of prestige and status, but will also be felt throughout the ranks by making existing staff members feel as though they are a part of a great organisation and for potential recruits to aspire to join your team.

Have fun with the process and if you need some help, take a look at some of the work we have completed with golf-related businesses and clubs here!

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