Inspire Participation

Glenn Carlson, the 2003 Connecticut PGA Section Merchandiser of the Year for Private Facilities and the 1999 Connecticut PGA Section Assistant Professional of the Year, is the PGA head professional at Torrington (Conn.) Country Club

The membership at Torrington is split evenly between Connecticut and New York residents. Because of this, we have tons of both Red Sox and Yankees fans at the club.  A few years ago I decided to start a “Yankees vs. Red Sox” tournament to create some friendly competition.

This event consisted of two nine-inning “games” (the front-nine and back-nine were each one game worth a point each), and we kept score for each foursome that entered the tournament. A net par was considered one run, a net birdie was two runs and a net eagle was four runs. If you scored a bogey it was zero runs, and anything more than a bogey would cost your team a run. The best accumulative point total at the end of all the games was declared the winner. It was a great event, as we had members decked out in Yankees and Red Sox hats and shirts. Each participant paid $20 to enter the tournament, and this was all put towards a raffle at the end of the event, which only the match winners were eligible to participate in.  Depending on the baseball schedule, we would invite our members to watch the actual Yankees/Red Sox game on television afterwards. We received some positive feedback and look forward to doing more events like this in the future.
Last year we had 100 players participate and that has been pretty consistent since the first year we offered the event. We sell lots of logoed gear in our shop for both teams, so we’ve seen an increase in merchandise sales around the time of the event. Another advantage is that food & beverage sales were aided greatly because the members would hang out in the bar area to watch the game when golf was finished. We are thinking about doing a “New York vs. Connecticut” outing next year as well because this was very popular. It’s a great way to bring value to your members. Everyone loves showing their team pride and this is something people talk about all year long.