“REASONS Lead to Conclusion;  EMOTIONS Lead to Action.” – Kevin Roberts,  Author of Lovemarks

During the last two months, I shared thoughts from the game-changing book called Lovemarks by Kevin Roberts. (If you haven’t read the October ’17 or the November ’17 articles, may I suggest you read them both before proceeding with this one?) Lovemarks is a marketing book in nature, but I see it as providing insights on our golf consumers. I believe we can build loyalty and success based on relationships and not pricing, discounts, etc.

The “WHY” for this noble goal is this: Your customers/members want you to be this kind of professional. They want someone who will help them create emotional connections, help them belong to some sort of social community and give them a reason to play golf. As a reminder, nearly all golfers don’t play golf just for golf. They play golf (this is what they told us on the 1st tee just before they started playing) with the hope to:

  1. Hit more good shots, fewer bad shots
  2. Have fun with their friends (maybe make a new one)
  3. Shoot a lower score (maybe my lowest score ever)

The bottom line: Give the customer what they want, based on their why, and they should respond with more loyalty.

Based on Lovemarks, I would like to suggest the “HOW” for this noble goal based on three key areas, PERFORMANCE, TRUST AND REPUTATION.

PERFORMANCE (As you read through these, please ask yourself: Is there an opportunity here for me to grow in 2018?)

  • Innovation: What is innovation to you? For me, it’s not adding something to an existing event or program, as that would be a “value add.” Innovation, in the context of Lovemarks, would be creating and developing a new league, a new social “mini-member/guest” event or a new social clinic (or a combination of all three) that helps your less engaged customer/member get one or more of the top three reasons for playing golf (see above.)
  • Quality: This is a snapshot word that provides a glimpse into both part of the love/respect axis in Lovemarks. Do you seek to create and develop experiences in your events and programming? In the golf shop? Would your customer get the sense you were thinking of them, and their desires from golf, when you planned what you were going to do? (Is this level of quality just a bit higher than they would expect? I suggest this as another worthy goal.)
  • Service: We tend to believe we’ve got this one figured out. Maybe we do. The right question might be, do our customers/members say? “Our pro consistently delivers, not just good service but service on what matters to me and my golf experience.” (This takes the idea of service to the next level, like Starbucks took the idea of serving coffee to an entirely different level.)
  • Identity: For me, this goes back to your “why” as a professional. As Simon Sinek said in his Start With Why Ted Talk, “…what’s your purpose, what’s your cause, what’s your belief? Why did you get out of bed this morning? And why should anyone care?” Simply put, if your why is about helping your customers/members get what they want out of their golf, they will better identify with you and your why. (As of 11/30/17, this TedTalk has been seen nearly 36 million times!)
  • Value: Similar to quality and service, do you deliver just a bit more than expected in your connections with your customers/members? This is often associated with the price of the item/experience in the transaction. For Disney, it’s not about the price. The price is secondary to the “emotional connection value” of the experience. Are there any areas of your customer experience that you can bring a little more “emotional connection value” to their experience? Dig for these “veins of gold” in your operation who knows what that can mean for the bottom line.


  • Reliability: This is a snapshot word that provides a glimpse into the respect part of Lovemarks. Do you stand behind what you’re selling, teaching and doing? In the same vain as Quality above, do you and your team(mates) deliver it on a consistent basis?
  • Commitment: Would your customer/member say, “I respect her/him because they keep their promises with me, with my friends here at the Club.” Not just with the Rules of Golf either, but with every commitment you make.
  • Ease: Would your customer/member say, “It’s pretty easy to be around her/him…I can be myself, and I feel that he/she appreciates me and values me here at _____.”
  • Openness and Security: How many of your customers/members know you well enough to be emotionally connected to you as person, not just a golf professional. Do they want to follow you, support you or support your programming? (You’ll know because of their language when they interact with you and their spending choices.)


  • Leadership: Do you have a reputation for leadership? The Harvard Business Review, in the article “Good Leaders are Good Learners” stated that, “Our research on leadership development shows that leaders who are in learning mode develop stronger leadership skills than their peers.” For 2018, consider setting challenging goals for yourself in the form of “I need to learn how to…” (For example, be a better listener, be more innovative or be more of a Lovemark.)
  • Honesty: Similar to portions of the Trust area, do you own your mistakes, admit to your failings and apologize with humility? Or do you “stand (defiantly) corrected” when failings are pointed out?
  • Responsibility: In a different angle to honesty, do you have integrity? Do you take responsibility for your actions (or those of your team) when you/your facility are “out of integrity” with a member or customer? In this sense, realizing or accepting being “out of integrity,” refers to the sense there’s been a disappointment for the customer or similar, because we either didn’t keep a stated or inferred promise that was made to them/their group. Taking responsibility for being “out of integrity” is one of the best, more efficient ways to build back and build up our reputation.
  • Efficacy: This word defined means “the ability to produce a desired or intended result.” Do you have a reputation (would you like one) where you’re known as a someone who gets the job done, and gets it done right? Remember the film, Pulp Fiction? There was a key character in that film known as “The Wolf.” He had efficacy. In this case, being known as “The Wolf” for getting the desired result with a student’s golf game, a client’s golf outing and doing so without causing harm or expense to others is a worthy goal. In football terms, there are quarterbacks who rack up lots of passing yardage, but don’t necessarily help their team score touchdowns and win games. I want to help you be the quarterback who can create “scoring opportunities” for your team and who can create “winnable games.”

Let’s work together this year on your PGA career wellness in 2018! If there’s anything I can do to assist you, your team or your facility with these concepts; or in adding value to your PGA career, through coaching on applying player development and/or professional development principles, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. With that said, Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and best wishes for a prosperous 2018.

Monte Koch, PGA Certified Professional/Player Development | Career Consultant
PGA Career Services | PGA of America
Serving PGA professionals, employers in the Pacific NW & Rocky Mountain PGA Sections
Email: Cell: 206/335-5260