June 6, 2022

Jake Bader: Maximize Space to Create Unique Opportunities

Jake Bader, the 2019 Youth Player Development Award Winner for the Oregon Chapter of the Pacific Northwest PGA Section, is the PGA Director of Player Development, at the Colwood Golf Center, in Portland, Oregon.

Jake Bader on the importance of maximizing space to create unique opportunities:

When I joined Colwood in early 2019, the property had all the makings of a perfect layout to maximize the opportunity: a nine-hole par-3 course, driving range, 7-hole practice course, and expansive practice green. So, with a blank slate to work from, I was able to bring a lot of creativity and entrepreneurial spirit to my role. With that became a chance to turn a 7-hole practice course, where golfers can work on shots from inside 100 yards, into a unique place to entertain. Additionally, the space is frequently used for lessons and player development activity – providing an expansive area for group lessons and junior camps and doesn’t interfere with the daily operations of the regular golf course.

Jake Bader on the business impact of maximizing space to create unique opportunities:

The 7-hole practice course, known as the Alderwood Course, is available to rent for $10 per hour per hole and is free for kids 17 and under with a paying adult. Since inception in 2019, Alderwood has contributed $9K in rental fees, hosting nearly 1,000 rental users. Another unique offering that we added was the ability for groups to rent the entire course for outings. Groups can play the loop as a pitch & putt course, and it’s been great for birthday parties, bachelor parties, and corporate outings. At the beginning of 2020, we had $10K in events pre-booked for the Alderwood Course, including Food & Beverage packages. We also added 9 holes of Footgolf in the summer of 2020, which has led to increased utilization by selling daily fee Footgolf tee times. The layout of the Footgolf course doesn’t interfere with golf, so we can capture revenue from both segments simultaneously, while retaining a positive overall guest experience for everyone. The revenue impact from Footgolf is expected to reach at least $10k annually over the next 12 months. Over the past 15 months, we’ve captured over 2,000 unique customer visits through player development activity, including several hundred kids though our partnership with The First Tee of Greater Portland. The Alderwood Course has helped us to achieve 91 percent growth in lesson revenues over prior year, and the great thing is that there’s still so much room to grow our programs. With a multi-faceted use strategy, the Alderwood Course has quickly become a significant revenue stream for our facility that will see long-term success.  If your facility has some unique spaces – particularly underutilized spaces – try some unique things. It just may be your next big hit.

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