Archive for July, 2010

In the tough golf economy of 2010, more and more golf facilities are paying close attention to promotional activities as a way of generating new interest in their respective golf facilities. In the last posting we reviewed the internet and the large impact it is having on golf facility advertising. Many of you have asked me – “now that we are on the internet, what can we say to golfers to get them to come and try us out?”

In this posting I will give a brief review of a handful of ideas that I have seen implemented at public golf facilities across the country, with some success in attracting new golfers and more play out of existing golfers. Some of these ideas have also worked in private club settings, but are most successful in daily fee, semi-private and municipal golf operations. The most successful golf facility promotions tend to fall in one the following broad categories, including:

-Golfer Education / Lessons / Camps: Anything that entices new players to come and give the game a try will be helpful in attracting new customers. Golfers will often continue to play a large share of their golf at the facility where they first learned the game. Female-friendly clinics and group golf lessons have been especially popular in a few places I have seen this year. The continued promotion of lessons and junior programs appears to be a major positive for golf facilities all across the country and should dividends in developing future customers. I suggest considering established programs like “Get Golf Ready in 5 Days,” the adult player development program being promoted nationwide by Golf 20/20 and the World Golf Foundation.  “Get Golf Ready” is designed to bring adults into the game of golf in a fast, fun and affordable way.

-Organized Activities / Leagues: Giving avid players a reason to come to the golf course more often is a great way to enhance your rounds activity. A common promotion at successful golf courses is to offer leagues and other organized golf competitions. This is a great way to attract golfers to your facility in off-peak periods such as weekday afternoons. Going around to local businesses and offering modest discounts for larger groups is a great promotional tool. Include scoring and league management services in your package. Golfers love to compete, and both inter-corporate and intra-corporate leagues have been successful.

Outings / Tournaments: Tournaments and other events are a proven method for stimulating interest in a particular golf facility and maximizing the activity on the golf course. These organized outings and tournaments are also a way to expose your golf facility to a whole new group of golfers who may not be familiar with what you have to offer. Always try to be full service on tournaments and outings – including poster scoring and prize packages through your pro shop (if you have one). I have several clients who have been successful in promoting tournaments to both large and small groups, including corporations, associations and other private organizations. These operators always leave a brochure of information in every “goodie-bag” showing how easy it is to book your next tournament at the club. Also, make every effort to re-book each event for next year before this year’s event is complete!

-Loyalty Programs / Other Quantity Discounts: Loyalty programs are becoming more common in all industries and golf facilities are no different. I often see how important it is for golfers to finally play that tenth round of golf so as to activate the free round promotion. Good loyalty programs at golf facilities offer a free round after a certain volume is hit, but also include discounts in the pro shop and food and beverage service as well. I often see tee-time preferences and first notice for events and outings included in loyalty programs. Further, your loyalty program should include an email component and perhaps a dedicated page on your website. It is always good to make your most loyal customers feel special!

Remember – your website should promote all of the above-noted activities!

So as you contemplate ways to grow your golf course revenue in 2010, don’t forget to keep thinking about new promotional activities that stimulate interest in your facility. Remember, every new customer you create could be worth scores of golf rounds over the next few years!

Thanks for your attention. I sincerely hope the information is useful. See you down the road.

Richard Singer

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