Steve Smith, the 2011 PGA Dixie Section Merchandiser of the Year for Private Facilities and the 2016 PGA Dixie Section Horton Smith Award recipient, is the Director of Golf at Greystone Golf and Country Club, in Hoover, Alabama and the President of the PGA Dixie Section Alabama Chapter.
Steve Smith on the importance of hosting events that bring the local community together with your club members:
Over the years we have had many local residents of the Hoover/Birmingham area join Greystone Golf and Country Club, whether for the extraordinary golf courses or for the social benefits of club membership. However, there are community members outside our club boundaries that we want to entertain and possibly welcome as new members going forward. One way we bring the community and our club members together is through an annual concert hosted on our golf range at the end of every summer. We have welcomed artists from the local symphony, big-time cover bands, and up and coming acts from Nashville to our annual event. The concert is free to club and community members and serves as the major fundraiser for the Greystone Foundation, a local organization that “provides resources and support to non-profit organizations in the greater Birmingham Metro area”. The money raised comes from the sale of space in various VIP tents at the concert, as well as major sponsorships by local businesses. Food trucks are on site to offer their wares to our concert guests, helping to make this annual affair a complete night out. We started the annual concert a decade ago but began the philanthropic aspect of it five years ago. We welcome over 1,000 people each year, as the summer winds down and college football is set to kick off. To “schmooze” prospective members, we have a tent designated just for invited guests who have expressed an interest in joining Greystone. The concert is conducted during a time when we are aerating the greens, allowing golf to take a back seat to music, at least for this one weekend.
Steve Smith on the business impact of hosting events that bring the local community together with your club members:
With 1,000 people filling our golf range, going in and out of the clubhouse, and meeting our members and staff, this annual concert has a distinct business impact, as it provides a means to show off our facility to a large number of individuals, both golfers and non. The specific business impact is not as measurable as other best practices provide, but with the good will created across the community, the great amount of money raised and donated to the Greystone Foundation, and the opportunity to share this unique experience with prospective members, we are fully confident that this event has been the convincing factor in several decisions to join Greystone. We appreciate the fact that it gives us the opportunity to welcome so many people to our club. In addition to helping attain members, this event aids in retention of members as well. With 36 holes of golf at two separate facilities, a great mix of local and regional members, and memorable events like the annual concert and a 4th of July fireworks bash that is open to the community, we take pride in what we do every day and look forward to the big concert every year.
If you would like to email the author of this Best Practice directly, please email email@example.com