July 4, 2012

Chip Essig: Pair Practice Tokens and Golf Fees in Your POS System to Increase Range Traffic

Chip Essig, the 2011 PGA Golf Professional of the Year, is the PGA director of golf at Hickory Stick Golf Club and co-owner of Essig Golf LLC in Greenwood, Ind.

Chip Essig on the importance of pairing practice tokens and golf fees in your POS system to increase range traffic:
The practice facility at Hickory Stick is located back behind the clubhouse. Many new customers to the course did not know that we had it available until after they had checked in and were heading to the course. As a way to increase revenue and traffic to our practice facility, we tagged our POS system so that each time a golfer would register and pay their golf fees a practice token would also appear on the payment screen. We made sure to train our counter staff to say, “Here’s the price with a practice token included to warm up.” Most often the customers would welcome the inclusion of the token and would head to the practice area prior to beginning their round. If the customers did not have time to hit balls, or just did not want to hit balls, then we simply deleted the practice token from the invoice. The whole process added less than five seconds to our check-in procedure, and we feel that the customers appreciated being reminded that the practice facility was available. Our staff has done a great job of incorporating this into their interaction with the customers and now there is a buzz about our practice facility.

Chip Essig on the business impact of pairing practice tokens and golf fees in your POS system to increase range traffic:
As a result of having the practice token appear on the payment screen, when customers are registering at the counter, our range revenue increased by nearly 25 percent the first year and has continued to grow. We had to be careful when implementing this procedure; we wanted to make sure our customers knew that we did not raise our golf fees, since we were charging $49 and did not want to go over $50, but rather that we were offering them an additional product. This same type of procedure could work for other products that you might want to include. This year we are looking at ways to incorporate this practice into other areas of the facility. For example, in the food and beverage department, we are tagging sandwiches with chips, candy and/or drinks in the POS system. Our counter staff approaches the customer the same way as we do in the golf shop.