As this posting is made, the COVID-19 pandemic is still active and golf facilities continue to find themselves in evolving circumstances. Following are some ideas to responsibly re-engage customers at your facility.
CHECK BACK REGULARLY for additional ideas contributed by PGA Professionals, owners and operators. We hope you are reading this story in good health, and that some of these ideas can be helpful as your facility responsibly conducts business.
Heath & Wellness
- Engage the local healthcare community to help educate your team and staff on physical distancing and health standards. In appreciation, offer those healthcare professionals a free golf clinic, along with lunch. Could even be advertised to the community for publicity.
- Work with your team to focus on the optics of the entire operation from both a customer and passer-by viewpoint, demonstrating that the health and safety of your guests is a top priority.
- Partner with a fitness expert to offer a Sunrise (or Sundown) range session which includes a half-hour yoga or stretching class, followed by a bucket of balls. Bring your own yoga mat!
- Provide a receptacle with a cleaning solution for customers to place their used range buckets in, showing your dedication to providing health and wellness to customers.
- Utilize your entire parking lot by blocking off parking spaces to promote a safer environment for your customers, in-line with physical distancing standards.
- Promote physical distancing at your practice area by roping off practice stations to ensure the wellness of your customers, students, coaches and staff.
Coaching & Player Development
- Create a “Practice Club” for your membership, keeping group size small making physical distancing easy. This could be offered across various age groups, genders, and skill levels.
- Offer limited-size, reservaton-only clinics for lapsed golfers who are looking to reengage with the game as a result of the pandemic.
- Offer “No-Sweat” golf lessons to your customers. Have a PGA Professional monitor the range in a 2-hour block, offering 5-minute tips for customers at no-charge to enhance their practice time.
- Offer Get Golf Ready programming for non-core families who are looking to take up the game together. (Mike Warobic)
- Short-game Evaluation Series – Schedule time with customers to assess wedge makeup, bounce as well as testing various balls for greenside performance. Offer discounts on purchases made that day.
- Offer discounts for buying lessons in bulk – possibly 6 lessons for the price of 5 if purchased in advance.
Welcome Back Activities
- Host appreciation days to show gratitude to your returning customers with a free bucket or tip, but accept donations as a fundraising component to help affected employees or to support a local charitable cause.
- Turn your range into a Par-3 course, and host a tournament for your customers with F&B and music. Encourage customer to bring chairs, blankets and pets!
- Invite customers to come try to pop large balloons or hit at large targets decorated to represent the COVID-19 virus – those who hit the target get a prize!
- Invite local doctors and nurses to hit ceremonial tee shots, inviting TV news crews to attend and cover the event live as publicity for your facility.
- With proper distancing, host themed nights in the place of trips that have been postponed, like an Irish Night or a Taste of the Dominican Republic, complete with contests and themed food & beverage.
- Offer a “Coffee, Bagels & Basics” morning where golfers can come out for a socially-distanced review of the basics with the golf staff and superintendent.
- Utilize your range as an area for a campout, inviting families to bring tents, chairs, food, etc. for a night of fun. An added bonus would be a large video projector with a movie!
- Offer daily prizes for the best golf-inspired face covering as a retention tool!
- Offer a Drive, Chip and Putt weekend for all genders/age groups – over course of a weekend.
- Partner with a local charity to do a hole in one contest on your range that raises money for them. Charity buys the insurance, customers pay a couple of dollars for each attempt and all the profits go to the charity.
- Organize a Driving range Club Championship for your members, utilizing a launch monitor. This could be a season-long effort with the top 3 participants competing in a season-ending finale which could host spectators and could also be advertised on Facebook live or other streaming service.
- With physical distancing in mind, combine fitting or demo events with craft beer or local food vendors on the range.
- Offer dues discounts, free rounds or complimentary range access to players who bring corporate outings or events to the facility.
- Pick up the phone! Call golfers to let them know you’re open and to welcome them back to the game.
- Send customers regular video updates of what’s going on at the facility, from the course to the shop and restaurant.
- Your current customers are your best salespeople, so reward them with incentives if they bring new prospects to the facility.
- Create a membership category or special daily fee rates for essential employees, healthcare workers and first responders.
- Offer a private, member-only area of the range with training aids and special touches to create a value for avid-core golfers. Range membership fees fund amenities for that area.
- Offer lifetime membership to the range. Great for publicity and would generate some capital up-front after months of lost revenues and would generate added spend on the back-end.