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Great revenue generating ideas

Revenue ideas for golf clubsBy Aidan Blunt, General Manager, Pointe West Golf Club

There are many ways for golf clubs to increase revenue and golfer/guest satisfaction. Following are ideas implemented by Aidan Blunt, general manager, Pointe West Golf Club, Amherstburg, Ontario.

Wedding Ceremonies on Site – We’ve created a very good market in our region for hosting non-denominational wedding ceremonies at the Club. We have established relationships with local non-denominational ministers who discuss Pointe West as a location when they meet the prospective bride and groom. We host the wedding ceremony on our wraparound patio that overlooks our 18th signature hole. We do not charge for the ceremony, and this single additional service adds probably 6-8 weddings to our calendar in any given year, with additional revenues of approximately $100,000. We have a large portfolio of wedding pictures and recently partnered with a University Media Program to produce a short film of a wedding at the Club, which is absolutely dynamite when shown at wedding shows.

Guest Certificate Packages – We began offering Guest Fee Certificates for sale to our membership in 2007, and they have been very well received. They tend to be purchased by our more supportive members and do offer a fairly decent discount, although the benefit to the Club in additional revenues, of about $45,000 annually, is very well received. Definitely a win-win situation for the club and its membership!

League Nights – We operate a Ladies League on Tuesdays with about 85 members and a Men’s League on a Wednesday with about 190 members. The Leagues are governed and managed by the members except for the registration fees and pay-outs which flow through the club, and which, to a certain extent, are audited by management. A great deal of the league registration fee ends up back in the club’s coffers in the way of prizes, souvenirs and the end-of-season banquet, as well as the additional traffic that the leagues generate on their specific days in cart rentals, golf shop and food and beverage sales, which is considerable. A great way to add additional member revenues on a relatively quiet day!

In Touch Program – About three years ago, I created an “In Touch Program” for my management team. Each of my managers has to do three things during the season which are outside their usual mandate. For instance; our Director of Golf runs a bar on the patio on Ladies League night. Our Food and Beverage Manager stands on a par 3 tee-box and hits a ball at the green. If you agree to the program, and get the ball on the green and closer to him, you get an item from a table of selected golf shop merchandise at 50% of the retail price; if you lose, you get it at 100% of the retail price. It adds revenue directly because of the uniqueness of the program; who doesn’t want to get a martini made by the Director of Golf, and more importantly indirect revenues in the form of retained membership dues, greater support for food and beverage sales, improved public relations etc, because of the improved relationship and connection between our members and management team.

Wedding Membership – About two years ago, we began offering a social membership for one year to anyone who held a wedding at Pointe West. The membership dues were complimentary, and we utilised the wedding bill for the Food and Beverage Minimums. We felt that this was a great reward for hosting a wedding at the club, but had very little, if any, in the way of direct cost. We have maintained the majority of wedding memberships following the first season, which helps with membership dues and food and beverage sales. We have also seen an incredible referral rate from these social wedding memberships. In addition to all the other great things we have going as a wedding location, this added intangible offers a great way for those brides and grooms to entertain other potential wedding clients. We also invite them, and their best man and bridesmaid, and their respective partners, to a complimentary dinner to celebrate their 1st anniversary. Invariably, one of the group or someone they know is getting married, and we have a real opportunity to remind their group of our availability and quality. It’s really a great program; if you secure just one wedding a year, the ROI on the program is absolutely enormous!

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