Assessing the Impact of Service Quality Attributes on Customer Satisfaction: A Case of Private Golf Courses in South Korea

Author: Boyun Woo*

*Corresponding Author:
Boyun Woo
Associate Professor
Endicott College
School of Sport Science
376 Hale Street
Beverly, MA 01915
Phone: 978-335-9966
Email: bwoo@endicott.edu

ABSTRACT
Responding to a highly competitive golf course environment in South Korea, it is important to investigate factors that influence customer satisfaction that will lead to a revisit. The purpose of the study was to examine the influence of different service quality attributes on customer satisfaction among golf courses in South Korea. Service quality attributes included in this study were website reservation system, caddy competency, accessibility, physical environment, cost, course difficulty, and employee service. Data was collected from 609 recreational golfers who played golf in 12 private golf courses across South Korea. The results of multiple regression analysis showed that all the service quality attributes together, with an exception of convenience of website reservation system, explained 40.5% of the variance in customer satisfaction. In terms of the individual attributes of the service quality, caddy competency had the greatest influence on customer satisfaction followed by accessibility, physical environment, cost, course difficulty, and employee service. The findings suggest golf course managers on what service quality attributes they need to focus on in order to satisfy customers.

Keywords: service quality, customer satisfaction, golf, South Korea

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Technology and a Golfer’s Course Preference: Does the increase in emerging technology increase the golfer’s playing preference?

Submitted by Kevin D. Rubel, Dr. Randall Griffiths and Dr. Annette Craven

Abstract

The golf industry has become a highly volatile space due in part to recent economic troubles. Combining an increase in the number of courses with a shrinking number of rounds of golf being played has resulted in competition reaching new levels of intensity. Golf course managers are seeking new ways to respond to the increased competition. Some are introducing new and interesting amenities to retain and attract golfers to their courses.  Recently, amenities in the form of new technologies have been developed and made available that aim to enhance the golfers playing experience. Websites now have the capability to provide online tee reservation systems similar to hotel reservations systems that allow golfers to start their game with a minimum of disruptions upon arriving at the course.  Global Positioning Systems (GPS) make it easier to see where you are in relation to the hole, how far you are from the green, and which particular club you choose to make each shot.  Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is a new technology that includes putting a transmitter in the ball and using handheld receiver to track the ball, allowing the golfer to find the ball quicker.  However the return for investing in these new technologies has not been assessed. The need to assess the impact of this technology is especially important given that the typical golfer is older and my not value the types of technology being implemented.  A survey of 56 golfers of all ages, playing levels, and experience was conducted to determine which factors impact a golfer’s choice to play a particular course, with technology being the main focus. The results indicate there are moderate correlations between demographics items and these new technologies. However, these correlations do not provide as much predictability as other factors typically used in customer segmentation.  Several interesting significant correlations were found between gender and price as well as gender and location that could be of beneficial use for future study. Implications for golf course practice are discussed.

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A Woman’s Guide to Climbing the Corporate Ladder: One Swing at a Time

Submitted by Justin Barnes, Scott P. Barnicle and Amber M. Lee

Abstract
Golf is a game played and enjoyed by millions, yet this enjoyment can quickly turn to frustration when psychological factors become overwhelming. More important, how one chooses to play and behave on the golf course may provide benefits to professional development if practiced properly. Grounded in sport enjoyment theory (Scanlan & Lewthwaite, 1986; Stodel, 2004), this study examines the difference in the psychological factors, which contribute to sport enjoyment and stress in female amateur golfers. With support from five state golf associations, this mixed-methods study (n=50) demonstrated statistically significant results regarding the socialization process of females in golf participation to better understand the purpose of a round, and to enjoy the experience more, regardless of performance. This research can help golf organizations such as the PGA and LPGA of America, PGM Programs, and developmental academies improve training and tailor instruction and marketing strategies to female recreational and professional golf populations. In addition, this research could serve as a guide to individuals, especially females who may use golf as a catalyst to enhance professional development as well as provide understanding to the positive relational impact a round of golf may have on participants.
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