A model of perceived service quality, price, overall customer satisfaction, and revisit intentions and differences between casual and serious golfers
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The total number of golfers in the U.S. has decreased for the past five years, whereas the total number of golf courses has continually increased. This situation has resulted in a keen competition among golf course managers to market their courses. In spite of the decrease in golfers, the total number of rounds played has steadily increased. This means fewer golfers are playing more golf. The purposes of this study were to explore the relationships among perceived service quality, price, overall customer satisfaction, and revisit intentions in the golf context and to investigate the differences in these relationships between casual and serious golfers. A total of 365 golfers participated in this study. Data have been collected from two private and four public golf courses in Georgia. The survey instrument has been revised based on the assessment of a panel of experts and the pilot study conducted with 151 golfers. The primary statistical methods used in this study were structural equation modeling and multiple group analysis of SEM. According to the structural model test with all participants, perceived service quality positively influenced overall customer satisfaction and revisit intentions. Also, overall customer satisfaction positively affected revisit intentions. However, satisfaction with price did not have significant relationships with overall customer satisfaction and revisit intentions. There was only one difference in the relationship between price and overall customer satisfaction: For serious golfers, satisfaction with price did not significantly influence overall customer satisfaction, whereas for casual golfers, satisfaction with price was an important determinant of overall customer satisfaction. This study provides golf course managers and leisure facility managers with managerial information on establishing a more effective marketing strategy to attract more customers. Several managerial implications are presented. First, golf course managers should improve service quality to attract more golfers. Second, interpersonal quality is the most important factor influencing customer satisfaction, followed by physical environment and program quality, respectively. Third, golf course managers should have a specific marketing plan based on the leisure seriousness of their customers. Finally, they have to keep communicating with their customers in order to know what they want and need.