Winter Tournaments

brett-eatonBrett Eaton, a member of the Titleist Leadership Advisory Staff, is the PGA director of golf at the Semiahmoo Golf & Country Club in Blaine, Washington.

In the winter of 2013, Semiahmoo expanded its winter golf program. We created the Winter Golf Series, which is open to the public and complements our Blue Toes Series, a tournament series exclusively for our members. This was an opportunity to attract competitive golfers to our courses during our offseason where we do not see many golfers and to remind them that we are here and open for play during the winter months. The local diehard golfers love the opportunity to compete and socialize, as after the tournament, they gather in the restaurant to warm up and share stories and break bread while waiting for the results to be posted.

Each month, November through February, we have two events on each of our courses. The Blue Toes events average around 48 participants, while the four Winter Series Events average around 80 participants. This creates an additional selling opportunity for our golf shop as there is always someone that forgets a crucial winter golf item like rain pants, rain hat, golf balls, or hand warmers. Each tournament has an entry fee, which can depend on format: for members, it can range from $10-30 (all of which goes to the prize pool) and $50-65 for non-members. The non-members fee includes a greens fee, so a significant portion of the entry cost is put into the prize pool. The winners of each event, and generally anyone finishing second through fifth place gross and net, receive golf shop credit, which spurs merchandise sales. The winter events last year generated over $7,000 in shop credit. Also, on days that the golf courses host an event, about 80 percent of the participants stay after the golf round, giving us additional food & beverage sales before, during, and after golf which is a wonderful addition during the shoulder season. Additionally, inclement weather conditions tend to lead to golf cart rentals too, leading to additional revenue gains. Creating fun winter events which fill the tee-sheets is a benefit to the entire golf operation. Come rain or shine, our golfers are looking forward to the next event.

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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.