Doug Hammer, a six-time GRAA Top 50 Growth of the Game Teaching Professional, is the PGA Director of Instruction at Troon North Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Doug Hammer on the importance of using big events to showcase your facility:
Being one of the top tourism destinations in Scottsdale, only 35-40 percent of our regular traffic is Scottsdale area residents. Yet when it comes to the Drive, Chip and Putt local qualifier we host, 85-90 percent of the participants are Scottsdale-area residents. That’s a huge opportunity to showcase your facility to locals who are either unfamiliar with it or haven’t been to the facility in a while. And because we are the only Drive, Chip and Putt qualifier for Scottsdale or Northern Arizona residents, you literally have to come through Troon North if you want any chance of getting to the national finals at Augusta National.
Doug Hammer on the business impact of using big events to showcase your facility:
Because we are the only local qualifier in the Scottsdale/Northern Arizona area, the competition runs from 7 a.m. – 4 p.m., with between 150 and 200 participants coming through our doors. Add in the mandatory guardian that needs to be with each participant and you’ve suddenly got a minimum of around 400 people on your premises. One thing we realized early on is because these parents and kids need to hang around – either to find out results from their age group or watch a sibling later in the day –a robust food and beverage operation was mandatory. The qualifier taking place in mid-June with under Arizona heat doesn’t hurt, either. Utilizing special pricing, we have a burger and hot dog stand, offering fries, chips, water, candy, drinks – you name it. It’s one of the biggest days for our food and beverage department each year, running 12 percent above their normal output for a Saturday in June. We’ve probably gained 15-20 frequent customers from the three years we’ve hosted a Drive, Chip and Putt qualifier. That’s led to five-10 more lesson takers, and a boost of 2 percent in shop sales from just the qualifier day alone. So especially if you’re a resort course or a facility that doesn’t get a lot of locals, use big events as a showcase day. It just may give you a boost, especially in what’s normally a quiet time.