The Master Bill Tab

Craig Riddle, the 2006 Georgia PGA Section Merchandiser of the Year for Public Facilities, is the PGA general manager at Bear’s Best Atlanta in Suwanee, Ga.

As a high-end, daily-fee course that hosts outings for corporations from all over the Atlanta area, finding ways to stay unique and competitive is a vital undertaking. One popular program we offer is the “master bill” tab program. This lets the outing client put everything purchased throughout the event on a tab, which the client can then pay for all together at the end of the day. For a public facility, it’s great for the client to get treatment similar to what they would receive at a private facility. More importantly, as most corporate outings are opportunities for the client to show off a bit in front of the guests, giving the client the opportunity to say “put it on my tab” adds prestige. Our goal is to make the client feel special – to offer the same experience of a private-club – and not have to reach into their pocket whenever the guests want something. We want the guests to feel like members, and to feel like they got five-star service.

We have a couple hundred outings every year, ranging from as few as 16 to as high as 144 players. This constitutes approximately one-third of our business, so it’s obviously a very lucrative area that deserves all of our attention and service. With outings especially, we want the client to leave at the end of the day feeling like they truly received service above and beyond the call of duty.