Indoor Leagues During Off-Season

michael-herzogMichael Herzog, recipient of the 2010 and 2012 Minnesota PGA Player Development Award and the 2015 Dakotas Chapter Youth Player Development Award, is the operations manager and PGA director of instruction for Golf Etc. – Bismarck (North Dakota).

Michael Herzog on the importance of creating indoor leagues to offset the off-season:
A few years ago, my family and I moved to North Dakota, and basically had to start from scratch, as far as my golf business was concerned.  I started full-time at Golf Etc. – Bismarck in early 2014.  The facility was a standalone retail shop and indoor facility, with five High Definition Golf simulators.  To promote the simulators and attract more golfers during our previously slow fall/winter seasons, we started 4-person team simulator leagues in 2014 for 12 weeks of league play.  To promote and bring awareness to our newly started league programs, I reached out to several men’s & women’s leagues from local courses to set up times.  I also used social media, our website, and radio and even television ads to promote the leagues, but connecting with people face-to-face was the most successful and rewarding method.

Michael Herzog on the business impact of creating indoor leagues to offset the off-season:
The indoor leagues increased revenue drastically. For the 2014/2015 season we had a total of 28 4-person league teams for 12 weeks at a cost of $400 per team, plus a $10 simulator fee for each round. For the 2015/2016 season we have a total of 51 4-person league teams for 10 weeks and also increased the fee to $500 per team and increased simulator use per round to $12. This has lead to an increase of $24,900 in revenue!  In 2016, we plan on introducing 2-person team formats to make it less intimidating, as well as add youth, co-ed, senior and women’s divisions.  Additionally, we added a Jimmy’s Pizza Express to our facility, which increased our food & beverage offerings, leading to an additional revenue increase for the facility.  It was great to see people bonding over the simulators, recalling stories and seeing holes that they have played outdoors before.  I fully believe that connecting with people personally is the best way to spread the word, and bringing golfers together through leagues is very rewarding as well!

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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.