April 8, 2013

Danny Elkins: Offer a Discount Range Card Program

Danny-ElkinsDanny Elkins, the 1993 Georgia PGA Section Teacher of the Year and 2011 Georgia PGA Section Senior Champion, is the owner and PGA head professional at the Georgia Golf Center in Roswell, Ga.

Danny Elkins on the importance of offering a discount range card program:
The Georgia Golf Center does not offer a membership that allows unlimited use of our driving range, as we’ve found that it’s not the best model for our needs. We do, however, offer a discount range card program to give a benefit to our regular customers. Our facility offers four different tiers of buckets: 45 balls for $4.25, 65 for $6.75, 90 for $10.50 and 120 balls for $12.50. The customer prepays for the dollar amount of balls they like and we have three different discount card options: $10 off $60 worth of balls, $25 off $125, and $100 off $400. The first option gives the consumer 20 percent of extra range balls, the second 25 percent and the third 33 percent. The customer benefits from prepaying for their range balls, and that’s why it works. As part of the program, we issue each customer a member number. The customers simply check in at the counter, give the employee their number and pick up a bucket. This speeds up the process a great deal, as most personnel already know the regular customers’ numbers and the cashier now has fewer financial transactions to deal with. We’ve also found that it creates customer loyalty and a sense of belonging, as the customers create a rapport with the employees they see on a continuing basis. We are a small, mom-and-pop-type business, and we’ve had the same ownership and many of the same employees for the last 18 years. While we are not exactly a club per se, we certainly have somewhat of a club atmosphere, which creates a good environment to practice in.

Danny Elkins on the business impact of offering a discount range card program:
As a facility, the most obvious benefit is that the program helps with customer loyalty and retention. If you spend money in advance, you’re that much more likely to use what you paid for, which leads to a higher turnout. Approximately 25-30 percent of our range business is tied to the range card and it has helped increase our bottom line, added to our overall range usage and helped get more people into the shop. At the very least, the goodwill that is generated is worth having the program. It’s a pretty simple program that if duplicated elsewhere can really benefit most ranges and create a good business-to-customer relationship.