Beat the Professional Raffle

Chris Clegg is the PGA lead assistant professional at Reynolds Plantation-Great Waters in Eatonton, Ga.

Our facility is part of a semi-private golf community where five of the six golf courses on property are available to the public. At the Great Waters course, we incorporated a “Beat the Professional” raffle during one day of Masters Week when we see some of our busiest traffic all year. Taking place on a par-3, members and guests could choose what tees the professional hit their shot from, which added a little fun for the contestants. One entry cost $5 while five went for $20. The participants had the opportunity to double their number of entries if they hit it closer to the hole than the professional. Up for grabs were two separate prizes: a TaylorMade RBZ driver and three dozen TaylorMade RBZ golf balls. We found that having the professional hit a new shot with each group adds a level of excitement to all who participate. At the end of the business day, we drew winners at random and informed them of their good fortune. It is so well-received that we repeat the promotion five or six times during the year. It has also brought exposure to our club because, especially during Masters Week, there is a good mixture of outside play and member play on the course, which is a way of showing off our facility to a new audience that may be interested in joining at some point.

Chris Clegg on the business impact of hosting a beat the professional raffle:
We do not advertise that we are doing a “Beat the Professional” raffle in the days leading up to it. Instead we see how busy the course is, aiming for days with 150 players or more. When we feel like it’s the right day, we put signage up in the golf shop and make sure everyone who is playing knows it’s going on. Financially, we take in more revenue than the value of the hard goods being raffled off, resulting in a higher margin. On average, that tends to be approximately 10 percent more in total than if someone would have just bought these prizes in the shop. In addition, we’ve found that it serves as a fun way to move inventory out of the shop. It can also serve as a good way to expose people to new product. By helping us move product and allowing the participants to win some of the newest product on the market, it’s a win-win for all involved.