First swing: Officials find golfer survey results above par
Published 6:10 am, Monday, June 22, 2015
The Golf Advisory Committee took a swing at polling local players this month, and last week officials teed up an initial review of the survey findings about municipal links.
There were 444 responses received from some 2,900 emails asking golfers areas of improvement they would like to see at and around Longshore Golf Course. While the committee intends to follow up and learn more details, Parks and Recreation Commission members told the golf panel they believe it’s a good start.
“It sort of tees everything up for the next effort,” said Steve Axthelm, a park and rec commission member. “I think it’s a great research effort. I think it’s a terrific way to start.”
“It’s a really good response rate,” said Fred Hunter, chairman of the GAC, though “people had a tendency to answer some, skip some” of the survey questions.
Among the answers town officials might be most pleased to see are that approximately one-third of those surveyed said they intend to play more often this season at Longshore, and 97 percent of those asked said they would recommend Longshore to a friend or colleague.
“That really is an indication of the improvement on the golf course and an indication that people are really coming back and supporting us this year,” Hunter said.
The survey included 16 questions about the Longshore course that people were asked to rate on a scale of importance. The overall most important consideration was providing “after golf” food and drink at the Inn at Longshore. The second most important factor was improving the conditions at the practice range. The third was development of a new full-purpose clubhouse.
Commissioners noted, however, that some of these issues weren’t even the direct responsibility of the GAC, though the information was all useful.
“For the first time ever, we got statistical information for what people really want,” Hunter said. “The committee really has some specific information.”
He noted, however, that some of the questions “might not have been clear enough” and that it would be worthwhile to elicit more detailed answers on some topics.
“I think that the qualitative survey is a little different,” Axthelm said. “It may be a conversation with people,” for instance, surveying them at the first tee before a game.
“You’ve just gotten a terrific response rate on quantitative research,” he said. “That shows that people are interested.”
Hunter said officials routinely hear a lot of comments on upgrading communication, suggesting the idea that the GAC could either have its own website, “or find some way to communicate better, either through (pro) John Cooper’s website or the town’s website.”
Several questions relating to Cooper, including attendance at clinics, elicited negative responses from those surveyed. “The news for Mr. Cooper was not very good,” Hunter said.
Parks and Recreation Chairman Charles Haberstroh asked that the GAC try to ascertain more details about certain survey questions, including requests for upgrading website information, parking and the condition of the golf cart fleet.