Unique Contests

john-lybergerJohn Lyberger, the 2008 PGA Merchandiser of the Year for Private Facilities, is the PGA director of golf at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland.

During our multi-day member guests, we have a very unique contest. With a lake on property, we are able to be creative. We take a boat out to the center and have a “closest to the boat” contest. The players are not one versus the field, but rather one versus one. They play against the PGA Professionals on staff. This is their opportunity to gamble during the week. They can make bets on each shot they take. With the shot only being about 100 yards, the contestants feel confident and allow more to participate. However, there are still some players who do not want to play, so we allow them to handicap us by picking the club we have to use. It gives them a better chance when we have to hit a six iron for a 100-yard shot, instead of the usual wedge.

To enter the contest, the participants make minimum wagers of $10. If they win, which less than 10 percent do, they double their money in cash. If they lose, they receive the amount they wagered in shop credit. If they hit the boat, their bet is tripled. During this contest, we generate $2,000-$2,200 in merchandise shop credit, which really helps move merchandise during the event, especially with our guests. We have been doing this contest for 15 years and participation continues to be high, with nearly all players making bets and hitting shots at the boat.

If you would like to email the author of this Best Practice directly, please email golfpro@ccclub.org

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.