August 10, 2020

Abby Messick: Expand Past Basic Golf Offerings to Attract Younger Audiences

Abby Messick is the Director of Golf at the River Marsh Golf Club – Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa & Marina located in Cambridge, Maryland.

Abby Messick on the importance of expanding past basic golf offerings to attract younger audiences:

We’re a public golf course that is a part of the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Resort. Over the past six years we’ve worked alongside our resort staff to broaden the audience visiting River Marsh Golf Club. Part of that is attracting younger audiences to both the resort and the golf course. We expanded past our basic golf offerings to include a Glow Golf Challenge featuring interactive glow targets and putting. We create a full swing challenge on our waterfront 18th hole, just off the edge of our prime event space at the foot of the resort. Fun, colorful LED golf balls combined with brightly colored, inflatable targets create a memorable back drop against the Choptank River. Golfers take full swings, with a wedge of their choice, to see who can make contact and walk away with bragging rights! For groups with more attendees, or less avid golfers, we add in a putting challenge with the green lit like an interactive runway. Both of these activities appeal to all skill levels, which doesn’t often happen in this game.

Abby Messick on the business impact of expanding past basic golf offerings to attract younger audiences:

We run the Glow Golf Challenge 8-9 months of the year, usually seeing at least 40 participants, always including a variety of guests who may or may not be golfers. Costs vary based on length of the event and the volume of players but it’s usually $25-$45 a person depending on the inclusions. The Challenges have had a lasting impact in the form of social media and return visits. Many of those participants are a part of our corporate business and very quickly share the memorable outings with their own meeting planners. About 75 percent of our Glow Golf events come from our corporate retreats. The majority of these attendees do fall in the millennial wheelhouse but we’re also seeing groups spanning ages from late 20s thru early 60s taking part in this activity, making this a really easy “one size fits all” evening event. It creates a really great networking opportunity and is ideal for after-dinner fun. So if you are a public resort, consider beginning initiatives that cater a younger audience. They may well be your next customer base.

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