Value-Priced Outings

Kieron Mooney, the 2006 Middle Atlantic PGA Section Merchandiser of the Year for Public Facilities, is the PGA head professional at RedGate Golf Course in Rockville, Md.

Though it has always been something we’ve prided ourselves on, the last year or so has really made offering value-priced outings an important part of bringing in and maintaining these valuable events. Now, more than ever, be sensitive to the green and golf car fees you charge for outings, as many organizations or corporations look to those prices first when choosing where to host their event. The way I see it, green and car fees are more to recoup the cost of closing down the course, while the real profit from these events is all the tangential revenue streams, such as merchandise, gift bags, range balls, drinks from the beverage carts, catered food and other costs that quickly add up. In essence, when I think of an event it’s not how much we can make off the top – it is really about how many bodies it can bring to our facility. This is especially important for us as a municipal course, where those participants, if they have a good time, are welcome to come back on their own and play a round. Once you have a captured audience, why not use that opportunity? You’re exposing your facility to tons of potential future business!

The last thing I want to do is lose a potential outing contract because another course undercut our green fees by a few bucks, or because we scared off a potential client. What you might lose by giving discounted green/golf car fees you can more than make up with all those additional income streams that an outing brings to your facility. We’ve been very successful with this business model, hosting approximately 40-60 outings per year, as well as larger tournament outings. However, just because you offer good prices doesn’t mean you should give poor service, of course; we make a point to give our clients country club-level service at the municipal price.