Bold and Innovative Events

louis-bennettLouis Bennett, the 2014 Oregon Chapter PGA Merchandiser of the Year for Resort Facilities in the Pacific Northwest PGA Section, is the PGA head professional at Tetherow Golf Club in Bend, Oregon.

We collaborated with GolfBoard to host the first-of-its-kind GolfBoard Open, with the hope of making it a fun, unique event showcasing two great products: GolfBoards and our David McLay Kidd-designed course. We had 48 participants, all using a GolfBoard, with the prize being a GolfBoard, which usually retails for approximately $5,000. For the competition, which cost $195 to enter, we used a modified net Stableford scoring system, with no negative points for bad holes, which kept the atmosphere fun. Our course and GolfBoard proved to be perfect partners with edgy, outside-of-the-box thinking from youthful brands that are unafraid of breaking the mold. We experienced a very high demand right away from golfers of all demographics, many younger than 50, many older than 50, and equal numbers of high and low handicappers. Introducing new, exciting products and events keeps our passion for the game growing and our creative juices flowing, not to mention that it helps attract new customers. To differentiate yourself, you have to be willing to take risks.

Louis Bennett on the business impact of hosting bold and innovative events:

The national exposure that Tetherow received due to this event alone was astronomical. Web and phone traffic picked up by 500 percent, all because of interest in GolfBoard. Most people associated the two companies together, which led to people calling about how to buy one, as if we were a retailer, which gave us the idea to be just that. It’s hard to quantify how much of our growth can be attributed directly to the GolfBoard Open, but across the board, our business is growing: food & beverage, real estate, golf, and lodging. Approximately 20 percent of the event’s participants had never seen our facility before, so we’re obviously now on the map for them. Green fee revenues are up over 20 percent from 2014, GolfBoard revenues are 40 percent over budget, and our hotel occupancy ran at over 87 percent for the month of July. We get people just about every day that are non-golfers that come down from the restaurant, or are just passing through, just to see the GolfBoards. And a lot of our increased foot traffic leads to real estate and membership inquiries. Tetherow has experienced growth in rounds year-over-year by more than 25 percent in each over the last two years, which is outstanding. We have embraced the mantra of “not your grandfather’s country club,” pushing the envelope with our events, our culture and our overall operation.

If you would like to email the author of this Best Practice directly, please email

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.