Beat the Professional Contests

john-piascik-v2Rob Clark, a Dixie PGA Section past president and the 2003 Dixie PGA Section Merchandiser of the Year for Private Facilities, is a PGA Certified Professional and the PGA director of golf at The Ledges Country Club, in Huntsville, Alabama.

Every other year, we have an unannounced shirt sale contest during one of our large tournaments. During this contest, a PGA Professional at our facility waits for players to arrive at a par 3 and offers them an opportunity to win a free shirt. Most “Beat the Professional” contests offer shop credit, but we offer a golf shirt. If players wish to participate, they must commit to buying at least one shirt at regular price from the golf shop. If they hit the green in regulation, then they are rewarded with one of the shirts we set aside for the contest for free. It is important to have a PGA Professional out on the tee that can convince the players to participate in the contest.

We choose to have the contest every other year to keep the idea fresh and exciting for participants. The main benefit of this practice is that we can move shirts that have been in the golf shop all year long in a single day. We choose to do this during the latter part of the year once merchandise has been out for a while to avoid giving away new shirts that could be sold successfully at normal price. If timed right, we can move out shirts that would not sell for normal prices easily and bring in new merchandise that will. The last time we held this contest, we had over 60 participants and roughly half hit the green in regulation. We moved out more than 90 shirts in a matter of hours. Even with the contest winners receiving free shirts, we were still able to make a 28-percent margin.

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Editor’s note: The above comments reflect the opinion and experiences of the submitting PGA Professional and are not endorsed by PGA Magazine or the PGA of America.