Distribute Discount Cards at Outings

George Ancuta, the 2010 New Jersey PGA Section Merchandiser of the Year for Public Facilities and author of one of 2012’s Five Award Winning Best Practices for Tournament & Outings, is the PGA head professional at Knoll West Country Club in Parsippany, N.J.

Many big box stores offer 10 percent discount cards which, while nice on the surface, unfortunately do not help the green grass golf professional. So for the last two years, I have been distributing my own 10 percent discount card to each outing participant at my facility. Ideally, it’s to be used the day of the event, extending their stay at the outing and enticing them to spend some time in my golf shop. However, we do allow it to be used at any time. Since I make my own discount cards, I set the applicable rules, and usually allow them to be used on anything except balls and clubs. We have also put them into goody bags if the particular outing is handing them out. The enticement of the discount card increases foot traffic, allowing the participants to see the shop, interact with the staff and make a purchase. We strive to show them a great experience, hopefully leading them to come back again. That is our long-term goal, to lure them back and increase playing participation and foot traffic at the club over time.

I have certainly seen a benefit from the program. Using a publishing software program, I create the discount card myself, which is the size of a business card. That limits my overheard because I don’t need to employ a designer. I can then print and copy as many as I need, with my only cost being the copying expenses, which I have easily made back due to the success of the program. Last year we handed out roughly 3,000 cards, and saw approximately 10-15 percent of them returned. Distribution of the cards has created more browsing and purchases in my golf shop, thus raising my sales numbers on outing days. It has also increased my foot traffic in the shop, with the promotion acting as the impetus for golfers to make purchases they may have previously been wavering on. Our goal has been to create customer loyalty, beginning a cycle that uses a relatively simple idea to spawn a positive business-to-customer relationship for years to come.