The “Corking Fee”

David Graf, is a PGA Master Professional at Inverness Golf Club in Toledo, Ohio.

Something that every golf professional faces when hosting outings or tournaments is having the client bring in prizes and tee gifts that were donated, or purchased elsewhere. Dealing with that can be a hot-button topic since you don’t want to upset the clients by telling them they can’t use their stuff, but you definitely don’t want your facility to miss out on a possible big sale. What we’ve done to help with that here at Inverness Club is implemented what we call a “corking fee” – also known as a corkage fee. You’ve probably been to a nice restaurant that allows you to bring your own bottle of wine, but they still charge you a “corking fee.” We do the same thing with outside gifts and prizes, extending clients a reduced rate to bring in their products. We clearly state this in the rules of our club and explain it thoroughly to the client before hand.

I calibrate my “corking fee” to equate to the gross profit margin at which I operate. So if a client brings in gifts that I get in the golf shop for $100 wholesale, I will charge them $42 per item to bring in their outside products. This compromise works out to be a win-win; the client gets to use their donated product at a small fee and the golf facility still makes their margin on the products.