Take Advantage of Major Championships

Dustin_JonesDustin Jones, 2012 and 2013 Central New York PGA Merchandiser of the Year for Private Facilities, is the PGA head professional at Yahnundasis Golf Club in New Hartford, New York.

On Saturdays, we host what is called Saturday sweeps, in which members play in competitive rounds of golf to win shop credit for only a $10 entry fee. While some members very much enjoyed the events, some did not participate, and we wanted to find a way to reach them as well. So we decided to start taking advantage of major golf tournaments. We began having a tournament on each Sunday that there was a major championship event, not including the Masters, because the weather in our area usually does not permit doing so. The entry fee remains at $10 per player and they each get to pick any tour player in contention on that Sunday to be their partner, so to speak. The net score of the member and the tour player’s score are added together at the completion of both rounds to determine the winner. Shop credit is awarded to the top 20 finishers in the event. These tournaments also are open to guests and attract many on U.S. Open weekend, because it’s historically held on Father’s Day weekend. We usually have a couple guests for most major events and up to 10 or 15 for the U.S. Open. After the members finish their round, they usually go to the bar and watch the event on TV to cheer on their partner. Watching the tour players then makes more members want to play more golf.

As mentioned, the top 20 players are rewarded with golf shop credit for their performances. Each event has approximately 60 players in it, which gives us $600 to pay out to players. All of the entry fees are dispersed back to the players. When we give shop credit, it forces the players to spend money at our facility, thus increasing our shop revenue. Usually, they spend more than the amount they receive. When guests win shop credit, they usually spend it the day they win it, since they often travel from out of town. The three majors we play along with generate between $1,500 and $1,800 in shop credit. When we add this to the Saturday morning sweeps and other events throughout the year, we give out more than $50,000 in shop credit each year. This is money that that members have already given us, so they want to buy more merchandise from us. I keep $120,000 worth of merchandise in inventory during peak season, which gives our players plenty of selection. Merchandise sales have increased since we began using shop credit in these events and we have been able to move merchandise in and out efficiently. Additionally, the members usually make additional purchases at our bar after the event, which benefits our food & beverage department.

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

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.