August 15, 2012

Joel Weitz: Find Ways to Stimulate Your Business All Year Long

Joel Weitz, the 2005 Wisconsin PGA Section Golf Professional of the Year and Top 50-ranked Golf Instructor by GRAA, is the owner and PGA general manager at Vitense Golfland in Madison, Wis.

Joel Weitz on the importance of finding ways to stimulate your business all year long:
Here in Wisconsin, the golf season usually isn’t very long. Due to harsh winters and lots of snow, we found it very difficult to keep golfers committed to the game in the offseason. At our facility we installed heaters on every one of our 18 tee boxes at the driving range. The double decker range is entirely covered to shield the golfers in times of inclement weather. We have enough heaters to keep every golfer warm, and we don’t charge extra for this service. Also, we have a great snow plowing system so that golfers can see the ball flight while practicing at the range. Our guests prefer this compared to hitting golf balls into a net somewhere else. We are able to have golf lessons all year round now, and the local high school team continues to practice at our facility for much of the year. We also pride ourselves on our customer service by handing each bucket of balls out in person, rather than using a machine. We make sure every bucket is filled to the top and we like to package these balls with food and beverages as well.

Joel Weitz on the business impact of finding ways to stimulate your business all year long:
While the heating system was very expensive, the return on investment cannot be overstated. We have received so much extra off-season business as a result of the heaters that it has been completely worth the money. Business has gone up nearly 20 percent, and my golf lessons have really taken off now that golfers can come here any time of the year. We run specials on our range such as “Breakfast and Buckets,” and our most popular deal is called “Beer, Brat, and Balls.” You literally get a beer, a bratwurst and a large bucket of balls for only $12. This special runs at all times of the week, and it keeps people coming back. We like to tie in other parts of the facility such as the bar and the grille, and we’ve found ways to increase business all around.