It’s not often that I purposely show the Golf Committee at my club, that we overbudget for two straight months. But, these last two months have been unbelievable in the Northwest. I’m sure many of you were in the same boat – record rounds of golf in January and February, with revenues way over budget, too. Spring has sprung for sure. What a great start to the season!

I visited the Inland Empire Chapter Spring Meeting at Coeur d’Alene Resort in mid-February last month, as well as the Oregon Chapter meeting at Tualatin CC. Record attendance! I’m hoping that this is due to the optimism and great promotion that our PGA brothers and sisters have been delivering, and not that it is just our members getting their MSR’s before the cycle ends on June 15th. Either way, there was a full docket of speakers and education opportunities during these meetings and the “Sweet 16”. Thanks to Kathy Gildersleeve-Jensen and the rest of the IE Chapter Board and Sean Fredrickson and the rest of the OR Chapter Board for allowing me to spend some time with you. Also, thanks to Section Education Chair Andy Mackimmie and his Committee for coordinating dozens of Education opportunities for our Section and 5 Chapters, to answer the need of our membership as we head towards the end of our MSR cycle.

I have one similar takeaway coming out of both of these meeting – it’s time to promote the game in multiple, unique ways. I wrote down a laundry list of ideas that could work at my own facility. These are simple ideas that don’t require a ton of labor to implement, have low overhead or startup costs, and will probably generate a positive variance to your bottom line. I wanted to share them with you; they are not my original ideas whatsoever. You may have some these ideas in place already. Thanks to Monte Koch, PGA, for helping with many of these best practices as well:

  • PGA Junior League has been very successful in its early stages. Why not start a PGA Women’s, Men’s, Senior’s League at your club, too?
  • Drive, Chip, and Putt doesn’t have to be just for the juniors. Your adult golfers would enjoy taking a crack at it!
  • Start a Fantasy Golf League. There are hundreds of different ways to do it, so find one that works for your club. Engage your golfers and they’ll keep coming back for more.
  • Create 1, 2, 3 and 4 hour golf experiences at your club. Not everyone can find time to play the whole 18 holes. Find and promote ways to enjoy golf for less amounts of time. Play more often, maybe just not for as long.
  • Block time off your schedule to walk the range tee and visit the golfers on the putting green. Free tips here and there spell out customers that will come back to you over and over again
  • Invest in family golf. If you don’t have a separate set of family tees at your facility yet, you should look into it. There is nothing better than watching families play a hole of golf together, with parents playing from the normal adult tees and the juniors playing from the forward tees. Pick a night, find some extra tee markers to put out in the middle of the fairway if you have to, and get ready for family fun on the golf course.
  • (And the best for last!) Connect with your golfers at the beginning of the season, and spell out to them the programs that you offer. If you can find time to reach out individually, you will have loyal customers forever.

I’m sure most of you have your own, tailored activities that fit your facility and its needs. We sometimes forget to remind ourselves that we already have many great events and programs at our clubs. But, remind your course owners, boards, club managers, or whatever powers to be that you are doing a great job promoting golf at your facilities. And last, but never the least, remind your golfers of the great things you have in store with them this year. They will love you for it.

Have a great season,
Bryan Tunstill, PGA