Host Outings for Corporations and Non-Profit Organizations

trey-scottTrey Scott is the PGA head professional and general manager at the Connemara Golf Course in Nicholasville, Kentucky.

At Connemara Golf Course in Nicholasville, Kentucky, we are currently in the midst of rebranding our golf course, which has involved not only physical changes to the course and clubhouse but also a fresh look at our business strategy, charting new ways to drive up our rounds played and overall business. As a public golf course, reaching out to local corporations and non-profit organizations has become a ritual for us each winter and early spring. I put together a package with a handwritten welcome letter, event pricing, menu options and a contract to take to each corporation or non-profit organization. This gives me the opportunity to shake hands with board members, meet executives or directors and begin generating relationships. Our golf course is owned by a neighboring global nutrition company, Alltech, and as Alltech’s president, Dr. Pearse Lyons, likes to say, “make a friend, make a sale.” When talking to a business, we position a day at the course as an opportunity for a team-building experience. We also have several organizations that use golf outings to generate new relationships for potential future business; they bring both current and new customers and treat them to a day with all the perks of being a private club member. For a non-profit organization, a golf outing can be a fantastic way to generate revenue for the organization; we host about 20 per year to this type of group. Golf outings have become an immense part of our off-season preparations at Connemara. Being in the middle of refreshing our course, golf outings give us an opportunity to showcase our golf course to new golfers that have either never been to Connemara before or haven’t been here in several years. Our hope is that when customers come to play the course for the event, they experience our high level of customer service, and our new hospitality offerings, enticing them to make a return trip.

Connemara has gone from hosting 15 outings in 2012 to 42 outings in 2014. This increase has been a huge contributing factor towards our 40 percent overall rounds growth in that same time period. Also, by incorporating gift certificates with each event, our merchandise sales in the golf shop have grown by 60 percent over two years and our lessons by 50 percent. We offer a gift certificate package that provides prizes for teams for achievements like closest to the hole, long drives, long putts, and so on. With the quality selection in our golf shop and the ease of purchasing gift certificates, this package has become a popular option for many of our tournament directors. The increase in lessons translates to an additional $2,000 per year for Connemara. Outings can be a big boost to a club’s bottom line, especially if you strive for a strong relationship between your staff and the customers. If done right, the parking lot is always full, there is always a lot of activity around the course, and both customers and employees are happy.

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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.