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February 21, 2020

Joel Weitz: Find Ways to Extend a Customer’s Stay

Joel Weitz, PGA is the president and owner of Vitense Golfland, a GRAA Top 50 Stand Alone Facility in Madison, Wisconsin.

Joel Weitz on the importance of finding ways to extend a customer’s stay:

A few years back, we introduced “Golf Suites,” an enhanced part of our practice facility that enables people to enjoy a practice and entertainment environment with a covered and heated tee area, TVs and food and drink services. More than two years ago, after a chance conversation with a Topgolf executive at a Golf Range Association of America meeting, we were able to be one of the first golf ranges to introduce Toptracer Range. Built on the same technology you see on PGA Tour telecasts every week, it provides extensive metrics of the ball flight along with animation. That solves a key problem we face here, especially during wintertime: being able to track the ball flight on foggy and snowy days. With this investment we now host a winter golf league that features 72 players playing world famous courses such as Pebble Beach and St. Andrews. They also provide competitive modes such as closest to the pin and point games which have been popular with customers as well. All of that extends the amount of time a customer spends at Vitense Golfland.

Joel Weitz on the business impact of finding ways to extend a customer’s stay:

Toptracer costs $5 during non-peak times and $10 at night and on Saturdays. To help spur engagement with it, we offer a “Tuesday is Free Toptracer Day” promotion. This promotion in itself increases the length of stay and our golf range revenue by 20 percent. Also available are Golf Suite reservations with that cost between $80 and $120 depending on our day, time, and number of bays. They require a non-refundable food & beverage deposit ranging from $50-$75 which is applied to the final bill. Combine those purchases with Toptracer, our golf range and food and beverage revenue has increased by more than 60 percent in the last two years. To be competitive in today’s environment, it is important to always strive to be a facility that is enticing with both its recreation and entertainment options. For us that was adding golf suites and launch monitor technology. For you that could be something else. But always seek to find those ways to get customers to stay, because it’ll help your bottom line in the process.

If you would like to contact the author of this Best Practice directly, please email jweitz@vitense.com