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Bobby Jones Links Famous Freedom 15

Whitney Crouse

Bobby Jones Links’ customer and member-facing associates are empowered to make a difference - to fix an issue or solve a problem without needing permission and do what traditionally they think only a manager is allowed to do.

However, we decided the word “empower” needed to be replaced by freedom, which is softer, requires fewer rules, allows for more creativity, and removes any fear of doing something new.

From this, the Bobby Jones Links Freedom 15 innovation was born. Credit goes to Brian Conley and Tyler Morse at Bobby Jones Golf Course in Atlanta. They were inspired to create a program that allowed their frontline team to “surprise and delight” their customers.

How does it work? At any time, a club leader can tap an associate on the shoulder and say, "Freedom 15!" The associate then has 15 minutes to do something really special for a customer or member.

Since then, we’ve had hundreds of memorable Freedom 15 moments. We had a team member who noticed a mom standing at the driving range watching her child practice on a hot summer day. The team member approached the mom and said, "I know it's hot. Here is a cold bottle of water. And why don’t you sit in this cart to stay cool?" Another associate brought a cut-down club to a young boy after noticing he was using his father's heavy clubs on the driving range.

This program makes two people happy. First, the customer or member who always appreciates feeling special. Don’t we all? Second, and maybe more importantly, the frontline associate. Why? Because giving is much more meaningful than receiving.

The Freedom 15. Another Bobby Jones Links innovation designed to make a difference.

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