Hosting Tournaments

brett-eatonBrett Eaton, the 2014 Pacific Northwest PGA Section Merchandiser of the Year for Resort Facilities and a member of the Titleist Leadership Advisory Staff, is the PGA director of golf at the Semiahmoo Golf & Country Club in Blaine, Washington.

As PGA Professionals we are always looking for ways to grow the game of golf and to showcase our own facilities and operations. Hosting local golf tournaments is a great way to do both. In the summer, Semiahmoo hosts several charity and corporate golf outings, often drawing support from local businesses. By bringing those people to your facility, opportunities may present themselves that will ultimately lead to future business, including parties, tournaments, and additional players. Our members support many of the outings, often “talking up” their home club, essentially becoming marketers for what the club has to offer. Good course conditions, and fun with friends and clients, leads to additional rounds and revenue as people look to reconnect in the near future.

The exposure we get from those smaller events has led to opportunities to host bigger events. In 2009, with full club support, Semiahmoo hosted the NCAA Division II Men’s National Championship. That attracted non-local golf fans onto our grounds that have kept coming, leading us to develop a relationship with Bellingham Tourism. Guests still inquire about the 2009 event and if the host course is available for daily-play golfers, increasing our rounds from lower mainland and Whatcom County residents. Merchandise and food & beverage sales generally benefit from these events as well. Additionally, in the instance of the NCAA tournament, the 170-person banquet brought in four-figures revenue. Furthermore, room revenues exceeded $48,000, made up of USGA and NCAA officials, coaches and players, along with additional nights from players’ families, which are not included in this total. Our spa also benefited as guests saw what other amenities Semiahmoo has to offer. No matter if it’s an outing or a national championship, having a fun format, comfortable pace of play, prizes, and staff interaction is a key element for success and exposure for your facility.

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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.