April 12, 2019

Chris Harder: Start a Launch Monitor Club

Chris Harder, PGA, is the head golf professional at Tupelo Country Club, in Tupelo, Mississippi.

Chris Harder on the importance of starting a launch monitor club:
We are the only private country club in northeast Mississippi, and I am the only PGA pro within a 60-mile radius. We have 350 golfing members, and a few years ago we started noticing their rising interest in technology to improve their games. So in 2014 we started a Doppler radar launch-monitor club. People liked it right away. If a member purchases the club, his entire family can use it. I limited the group to only 10 members. I wanted to give the program exclusivity as well as make sure the launch monitor wasn’t too busy, to ensure availability. After I sent out a club-wide email message, members signed up for the launch-monitor club in January. During their scheduled “how-to” lessons, I showed them how to set up the launch monitor and the iPad app that goes with it. I limit the amount of information the iPad app provides so that it is only the information our members need. Due to the success of this program, I really can’t add any more people to the club, as it would clog availability to the launch monitor.

Chris Harder on the business impact of starting a launch monitor club:
The cost for a member to join the launch-monitor club is $500 annually, including the free set-up lesson. I discounted all shop merchandise they purchased by 25%. I was able to generate $5,000 from club dues for my bottom line, as well as sell more merchandise. I found these 10 members on average spent more in my shop then the first year I worked here, before the club program was in place. I estimate that the club was worth a total of about $10,000 to my bottom line in 2015. Something interesting I didn’t expect was that the people in the club scheduled subsequent lessons more frequently. The used the club to make sure they were on the right path while practicing. The extra shop sales were a nice bonus. The club is full now, but I wonder if I purchased a second unit if I could generate more revenue. It’s a $20,000 risk I’m not willing to take at this time.