An Investigation of Selected Factors' Impact on Golfer Satisfaction and Perceived Value
Keywords:consumer satisfaction, perceived value, golf, golfer behavior, golf course management
AbstractThe past decade has seen little change in the total number of United States golfers, yet the total number of golf courses is quicldy increasing (National Golf Foundation, 1998). This increase in competition for market share has made it vital for managers to examine the variables that influence golfers to use and return to their facilities. Two variables that have been shown to be related to purchase intentions and repeat purchase behavior are consumer satisfaction (Dube, Renaghan, & Miller, 1994; Williams, 1989) and perceived value (Walcefield & Barnes, 1996; Zeithaml, 1988). While previous studies have shown that valuable information can be obtained by analyzing the satisfaction and perceived value of various subjects, the investigation of golfers' satisfaction and perceived value of a golfing experience has received little attention (Howard, 1997). Further, the product offered at each golf course is quite distinct, which can have an effect on golfers' appraisal of their experiences (Priestley, 1994).Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine selected determinants of both a satisfying experience on a golf course and one with perceived value at three distinctly different golf course types. Subjects ( n = 1,397) were randomly selected by tee times stratified by weekday and weekend and season of the year at six different Cleveland Metro Parks public golf courses. Golf courses were collapsed into the categories of "Premier" (18-hole courses with numerous amenities), "Quality" (18- hole courses with few amenities) and "9-hole Courses." Results suggest that golfers' overall satisfaction and perceived value are different for different types of courses played.Findings also suggest that the demographic and golfographic variables that are related to golfers' overall satisfaction and perceived value vary by the type of golf course played. It was further found that the perceived performance of selected golf course services and physical features predict overall satisfaction and perceived value differently at different types of golf courses.Given the relationship between overall satisfaction, perceived value, and future purchase behavior, results of the present study provide important direction for golf course management. With the knowledge of which personal variables and golf course amenities are better at predicting golfers' satisfaction and perceived value at different golf course types, golf course managers should be better prepared to alter the golfing experience and marketing plan to maximize their resources and their clientele's experience.
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