Points-Based Event

tony-greidanusTony Greidanus, the 2009 Northern Ohio PGA Merchandiser of the Year for Private Facilities, is the PGA head professional at the Country Club of Harrisburg (Pa.).

Like most northeastern clubs, things slow down around our facility once Labor Day comes and goes. Given that, we are always looking for creative ways during this time to not only increase play, but to also justify people’s year-round membership. With the help of a couple of key members, one of the ideas we implemented in 2013 was the Friday Fall Series, modeled after the PGA Tour’s FedExCup. The event was spread out over six weeks, with points awarded based on participants’ net score. Each week, the $20 entry fee was split into three areas: weekly points, skins, and overall points. This allowed our members to compete in the series without being penalized too harshly for not playing all six times (only two people participated every week). Open to both men and women, the events were held on Fridays in hopes of getting people to play an extra round outside of their normal Saturday/Sunday routine. Members could tee off at any time, and they were free to play with whomever they wanted – the only requirements being that they registered for that week’s event in advance, and that there was someone else in the group who could attest their score (our staff was made available to play with singles when necessary). Sometimes people would go out with their usual foursome, sometimes they would pair up with somebody they barely knew. And beyond the spirited competition and undeniable buzz it generated, this increased camaraderie and strengthening of our membership may have been the Friday Fall Series’ greatest accomplishment.

During the six-week period (from September 20 through the end of October), we were able to produce more than 100 rounds of golf, which is significant for a membership of our size. And with a $21 golf car fee per player, that translated to an additional $2,100. Not only that, this increase in play had a positive ripple effect, spilling over into every facet of our operation. For example, most participants would come early and have lunch before playing and/or stay after for drinks. Bottom line: This idea was a winner in all areas of the club, and our members are already looking forward to the 2014 edition.

If you would like to email the author of this Best Practice directly, please email tonyg@pga.com