Season-Long Points Race and Shootout

Anders Mattson is the PGA head professional at Saratoga National Golf Club in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Inspired by the success of the FedExCup on the PGA Tour, Saratoga National introduced a season-long points race for our preferred customers beginning in 2011. Our customers were able to garner points throughout the season based on participation in our club events, as well as their finishes in the events. We mimicked the FedExCup point structure and weighted our multi-day events more than the smaller one-day events. The Challenge Cup, as we called it, culminated with a 14-person shootout at the end of the year. We decided to use a shootout strategy so we could have everyone compete together, playing the back nine on a Sunday morning and eliminating participants on every hole. We were then able to tally the points on each tee box so each player knew exactly where they stood. The energy on a cold October morning was great as most participants stuck around to observe the final few holes.
Our PGA assistant professional, Steve Plata, orchestrated the season-long event and posted updated standings on our blog weekly. Since beginning this event, we have seen participation from our preferred customers increase substantially; in fact, our participation increased 50 percent from 2011 to 2012. We were also able to increase our golf shop tournament prize credit by 50 percent. Having a season-long event keeps people interested, and by posting results online, each participant knew exactly where they stood at all times. The atmosphere and camaraderie were highlights to this event and will hopefully carry momentum forward into the 2013 season.