Al Morrison, the 2009 Georgia PGA Section Merchandiser of the Year for Public Facilities and 2019 Georgia PGA Section Player Development Award Recipient, is the PGA Head Professional at Chicopee Woods Golf Course in Gainesville, Georgia.
Al Morrison: Use your Golf Range to Host Family Fun Day Events that Incorporate Golf.
Al Morrison on the importance of hosting family fun day events that incorporate golf:
Getting people in the doors is the first step to showing them what a great game golf can be for folks of all ages. At Chicopee Woods Golf Course, we especially enjoy welcoming kids and families to our facility, understanding the many avenues to revenue growth that these demographics provide. One special event we hold several times per year right on our practice range is simply known as Family Fun Day. This free day of fun and games is open to our most ardent customers and also to people who’ve never visited us before. Our mission on these days is to introduce the game of golf and get people swinging and chipping and putting through carnival-like games and contests that they know from other aspects of life – we just add a golf component. They just know they had a good time playing. With homemade variations of old favorites like ski-ball to demonstrate various golf skills, we don’t teach the game per se, but we do show them how fun it can be. One of the games is our rendition of speed golf – using a hula hoop placed 30 yards away, contestants are scored on the number of strokes taken plus the time it took them to finally get the ball into the hula hoop. We even get the parents involved giving them a shot at Big Break-style glass targets. All of the games and contests enable guests to win prizes, like range tokens to return to our facility. From there, we can promote our adult and junior programming, as well as any special events we may have in the pipeline. We invite local businesses to set up tents and tables to promote their wares. Sometimes we even add a charitable component, recently raising money for our local humane society, promoting pet adoptions.
Al Morrison on the business impact of hosting family fun day events that incorporate golf:
This program grew quickly a few years ago and we had to take a step back in 2020 due to COVID. We anticipate bringing these special events back in 2021. By welcoming car loads of people, often 60-70 people in the few hours that the event takes place, we are introducing the game to people, promoting our facility and staff and opening the door to future engagement and long-term relationships with these kids and their parents and grandparents. Doing things a little differently leaves customers wondering what’s around the corner and what other special surprises might be in store. In addition to developing relationships with our neighbors in the business community, we also offer food and beverage from our own snack bar, boosting revenues in that area on these otherwise free family fun days. We have plans of offering the idea to local groups and organizations seeking to raise money – it’s a great fundraiser, as its easy to set up, cheap to run and only takes a few hours to conduct – also, anyone can participate. We are even considering doing it at night and using glow balls for all the games and contests, creating a cosmic golf environment. Golf is fun – we just have to prove it to those individuals who don’t already know it.