I learned to play golf as an adult, well 32 years old which was 30 years ago. I spent a lot of time going to the range, playing golf and getting frustrated. I thought to myself “what is the problem here? I’m athletic and I know how to swing a golf club.” This went on for a number of years until someone suggested I take lessons. I grew up in Minnesota where we finally like to Proclaim that we learn to skate before we learn to walk, I played football when I was much younger and was very quick down the field. Why would I need lessons? I think I’m a pretty good athlete LOL… until you try something new and find out it is tough to be successful, especially after doing it the same way for many, many years. 

For those of you who have tried to take on a new sport there is always a very high learning curve to being good at it especially as you move up the age scale. Take for example pickleball, which is popular with the elder set in our society and puts less wear and tear on your body then tennis. Yet, there is still a learning curve and it is not over night. 

So I am now thirty years down the road playing golf where tracking yourself is based on a statistic called a handicap. I started Golf as a 28 handicap and I’m now a 13.7, but not happy. Why? I want to be what is commonly termed a “single-digit” handicap that means under 10 and in my case I’m aiming for 9.9 (since I have been a single handicap before it’s even more important to get there again). 

When you play golf, your playing partners are generally very happy to give you a number of tips; keep your head down, don’t sway, take the golf club back lower and slower, change your tempo and on and on… This is not the best way to be a better golfer. So, what to do? 

I’m back to lessons at a place in Scottsdale called GolfTEC, they have facilities across the country and they utilize computers, swing analysis, all kinds of tools to help you get to your calls. The first lesson isn’t as much a lesson as it is an analysis of where you stand today. Then you fill in a questionnaire on what it is you’re trying to change, where are you already happy, what would you like to improve on and more. In addition, they suggest that you buy what they call “credits” which are essentially lessons and you buy them in a package for the year (I did). Why? Because just like running a spa (salon, medical spa, etc), we don’t always have the right information to go forward. Sometimes you just need to purchase expertise in an area you are not familiar with. With golf, I’m buying expertise to attain my goal. In the spa channel, you may need to hire in a number of different areas Including but not limited to; retail purchasing, sales education, accounting, marketing and advertising, visual merchandising and the list goes on and on. 

Frankly, you can choose to not hire an expert and sometimes you get lucky and whatever you do works, but most times you will fail because of the lack of knowledge. The short-term investment in dollars can pay long-term benefits to you and your facility, but you have to choose to go out and get expertise. Times are different today and what you did last year may not matter in today’s environment. Be flexible and be ready to change! My favorite direct marketing adage is “test, test, test again.” Get ready to test!

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