Demo Equipment Contests

michael-labruttoMichael LaBrutto, the 2002 New Jersey PGA Section Assistant Golf Professional of the Year and three-time Section Player of the Year, is the PGA head professional at Greenacres Country Club in Lawrenceville, New Jersey.

Several years ago we began running an exciting promotional format during our annual opening day tournament. In an effort to increase driver sales, we position a grouping of various demo drivers on a good driving hole, many times our long drive contest hole. In addition, I will have a PGA assistant professional present on the tee to provide club setups of best fit to the individual golfers. The cool thing about this format is that every player must use the demo club for that specific tee shot. Members also have the option to enter into a raffle for just $10, where they have the opportunity to win a new driver at day’s end. Depending on how large the event is, multiple drivers could be raffled away. As a final perk, if all the members of the group buy into the raffle, we reward the group with the option to have the PGA assistant professional hit their scramble tee shot for use in the actual tournament. This format has become important not only to promote driver sales, but to give the staff another opportunity to spend time with the membership.

Aside from the obvious excitement that can be seen on a member’s face when they hit that new shiny driver further down the fairway than their current driver, this demo format has had noticeable business impact for our club as well. The quick metric has our driver sales 20-25 percent higher than before this format was enacted several years ago. In addition, participation in the $10 raffle is nearly 100 percent every single event. This enables us to earn revenues from driver sales through low risk (to the member) raffles. Whether it be the unloading of an outdated driver model to make room for new technology, or simply watching our hard goods numbers rise, the demo-tournament format has been a huge success for us and almost guaranteed independent driver purchases after the event concludes. If you want to convince the players at your facility to purchase a driver fit to them, creative methods often have the best effects on even the most difficult to convince buyers.

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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.