Smaller Group Outings

Jim-SmithJim Smith Jr., past president of the Philadelphia PGA Section, the 2006 Philadelphia PGA Golf Professional of the Year, the 2007 and 2013 Bill Strausbaugh Winner, and the 2004 PGA Merchandiser of the Year for Private Facilities, is PGA director of golf at the Philadelphia Cricket Club in Flourtown, Pennsylvania.

Five years ago, born out of both a demand for entertaining groups that didn’t meet our regular, large outing minimum and a yearning to fill dates that we couldn’t fill for larger outings, we created “smaller group outing days,” for lack of a better term. These days entail allowing members to bring a minimum of 11 and a maximum of 27 guests and then pairing those groups up with other groups of similar size and having them essentially form one “large outing” of 70-75 people that meets our requirements for opening up on a Monday. We offer it for half of what the full, large outing cost is, and include lunch, golf, dinner, open bar, on-course refreshments and a caddie or golf car.

Each one of the four smaller group outing days average $20,000 in revenue, 70 percent of which goes to the bottom line. With four a year, that adds up to $80,000 total, with about $56,000 going to the bottom line. It helps to justify opening the course on a Monday (we make the organization/person sign a commitment letter so we don’t run a no-show risk) along with giving us potential new customers in the future. 90 percent of our new outings begin with someone who either played as someone’s guest or in a previous outing, so it’s been a fantastic business generator for us. These days sold out overnight and have been a win-win for all parties as the member and their guests get a great experience, and we fill open dates and can have schedule continuity all season long.

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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.