Indoor Putting Contest

marc-kimminauMarc Kimminau, the 2014 Middle Atlantic PGA Section Merchandiser of the Year for Private Facilities, is the PGA head professional at Talbot Country Club in Easton, Md.

Every February we conduct an indoor putting contest. Initially, the holes were created of cardboard and were relatively plain. However, over the last six years we have slowly constructed more elaborate holes out of plywood, artificial turf, plastic and PVC pipe. We use creative accessories such as artificial flowers, wood blocks, rocks, colored water, and colored sand to create an exciting and challenging course for our members to enjoy. It is so popular that we do two shotgun starts on a Friday evening in February. We have one start at 6 p.m. and the other shotgun starts at 8 p.m. We typically have between 140 and 160 members and guests join us for a fun evening of miniature golf, food and drink. We leave the course up for the following two days and have a team event on the second day and a junior event the following morning. It is hard to generate a lot of golf interest in the winter in the Middle Atlantic region without an indoor golf facility, but this indoor putting event has become a great way to our club to promote golf interest during the colder months.

An average Friday night might generate $2,500 in food & beverage revenue for our restaurant at Talbot Country Club. Our indoor putting contest brings 140-160 members and guest out to eat, drink and play our indoor putting course. We set up a buffet with higher end items, such as prime rib, lamb chops, grilled chicken, vegetables, salads and dessert. We charge $36 per person plus tax and gratuity, and drinks are by signature. In addition, we charge $10 per person for prizes, which is distributed in golf shop credit. Food & beverage revenue alone adds up to more than $10,000, plus the $1,500 in golf shop credit. Bringing members out to the club and having some golf shop sales leads to some additional incremental sales as well at an otherwise quiet time.

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