Use Various Hole-In-One Contests

ted-pogorelcTed Pogorelc is the PGA Head Professional at Bethesda Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland.

Our biggest tournament every year is our three-day member-guest, with 144 players. It sells out in one-hour, which speaks to its popularity. I had been using one hole-in-one contest vendor for five years, but found their offerings becoming kind of bland: money, clubs, a cruise, some shop gift certificates, and quickly realized that to keep this event at the stature we’ve made it to out to be, we needed to make a change. That was crucial: while the event routinely sold out, we ran the risk of the excitement level dropping and the stature of being the best member-guest in the area no longer being true. Besides, one of the ancillary benefits of a member-guest is to lure in potential new members, so first impressions are big.

We switched vendors – in our case to a company called Hole-In-One USA – and quickly found exactly the type of offerings necessary to boost our event’s stature, such as a trip to Hawaii worth $10,000, a trip to Scotland worth $15,000, a trip to The Masters worth $20,000, or a $25,000 cash payout on the ninth hole. The committee liked the changes so much we hosted the hole-in-one contest for all three days instead of the usual one.  A side benefit: the pricing for the additional two days was also affordable so we did not have to pass on the expense to members. But most importantly, it became a value add for the members and it created a lot of excitement when a player got a hole-in-one. In fact, in a following year after we made the change we had three hole-in-ones and everyone won a prize, whereas in previous years they would not have received a prize because their ace came on days we did not offer prizes. That helped word of mouth spread and has increased both excitement and engagement surrounding the event. It also has helped to pique interest for potential new members, which is always a positive.

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