Why was Go Golfing Awarded Australia’s Best Golf Tour Operator?
At this year’s Wrest Point Masters tournament in Hobart, I proudly announced to our 350+ guests that Go Golfing had won Australia’s Best Golf Tour Operator at the 2015 World Golf Awards. Because half were first timers, I gave the “mini skirt” version of what we offer golf travellers – short enough to keep it interesting and long enough to cover all the important bits.
Later that evening a first-timer approached me with a number of questions about our September golf tour to France and Italy. His first few questions were itinerary related and relatively easy to answer. Thinking my job was done, I handed him the glossy tour brochure with beautiful photos and lots of detail about the places we visit, where we stay and the courses we play. At this point he told me that he had read the itinerary on our website at least half a dozen times and had looked up the websites of all the courses and hotels on tour.
Clearly, he was keen.
His next few questions were a little cryptic, but what I soon picked up on was that he wanted to know what sort of people go on these tours. More importantly, he was looking for reassurance that he would fit in.
He told me that he and his wife had travelled overseas together many times before she passed away 5 years ago. But in the last 5 years he hadn’t travelled at all, it was something he did with his wife and he hadn’t mustered the courage to travel alone. He admitted that he was only at the Hobart event because his daughter bought him the tournament’s package for his birthday. She even purchased non-refundable airfares, so he couldn’t back out.
As the host for France and Italy golf tour, I reassured him that I would take him under my wing, introduce him to others on the tour and that there would be others just like him. More importantly he would be amongst a group of like-minded golf travellers keen to experience the best these destinations have to offer and have loads of fun along the way. I spoke of the wonderful friendships formed on tour and how so many keep in touch, visit each other and book on the same tours.
I also told him about the ‘single travellers’ network we created for singles looking to room share at Go Golfing events and tours and how we put them in touch with each other so they can meet up or chat and work out if they want to share a room. While he thought it was great that we offer such a service, he preferred to have his own space.
His final question was “What did you do to win the World Golf Award?”
A little defensive, I proceeded to explain the voting process from golf travel industry experts and how clients can also vote, before he interrupted me…
No, I reckon you won the award because you care about your clients. You’ve got hundreds of clients here tonight. You’re the MC up on stage. You're registering latecomers. It would have been reasonable to give me a brochure and send me on my way. You didn’t try and sell me on how good your tours are. Twenty years in business and a room full of people tells me that you must be pretty good. What I was looking for, what I needed was reassurance that I wasn’t going to feel like the third wheel on this tour. You listened and gave me what I needed, I reckon that’s why you won that award.
The following week there were 34 newcomers in our field of 80 for the Barnbougle 4 Ball, 6 of them being singles. I had always thought that money and time were the biggest barriers to travel. So I was keen to talk to newcomers, both singles and couples, and find out how they found out about the event and if they had any hesitation or fear about the event.
Wow, buy people a drink and they’ll tell you everything. Newcomers who knew past travellers seemed pretty comfortable, but I was amazed at how much courage and reassurance some needed before they booked.
Once they booked, the fact we communicated regularly before the tournament started helped give people confidence that they will be ok, that there is a wonderful support network they can rely upon.
It’s also all the little things. They took comfort in the fact that we looked after all their flight arrangements, that we sent out a hard copy of the tournament program, and that they found regular updates in their email inbox about the event. They could just sit back and let the anticipation build.
Then, as the tournament got underway, they started making friends from the moment they arrived- on the bus, at the hotel where everyone is staying and at registration where they also met the Go Golfing team. All reservation about fitting in dissipated at the welcome dinner where they met their team members.
So, why do YOU think Go Golfing was awarded Australia’s Best Golf Tour Operator in 2015? Let us know…