Dave Christenson is the PGA General Manager at Gamble Sands, in Brewster, Washington. He was the 2016 PGA Pacific Northwest Section Merchandiser of the Year for Resort Facilities.
Dave Christenson on the Importance of holding standalone Demo Days in the spring:
Instead of concentrating on clubfitting, we conduct three to six Demo Days in the spring when there is a lot of excitement to get outside and play. Each is a standalone Demo Day, meaning we only have one vendor at a time. In the past, we had six to 10 vendors on the same day, and with an event this large, our customers have walked away unsure on what equipment makes sense for them and ended up not spending at the level we were anticipating. We promote the Demo Day events to our database, through signage/displays on our GPS system, through in-room advertising, and at regional golf shows. Essentially, it is an easy way to capitalize on the new season and offers guests and opportunity to try the latest and greatest equipment. Lastly, incentives are offered for day-of purchases, and these are largely tied to opportunities to come back and play the course during a non-peak time at a discounted rate.
Dave Christenson on the business impact of holding standalone Demo Days in the spring:
The three to six Demo Days in the spring produce between $20,000 and $35,000 in revenues. It becomes more of an annual event where guests look forward to trying the latest equipment and receiving a free fitting or maybe a pointer or two on how to improve their game, and then we give them a range pass for the day to stick around and do some practicing on their own. So it is a win-win for everyone. Normally, if the guest spends a certain dollar figure on one of these days, they receive a voucher to come back and play the course for free or at a discounted rate during a non-peak time, which also leads to increased traffic, sales and loyalty to our club.