Jon Johnson, the 1991 Gateway PGA Section Golf Professional of the Year and president of the West Central Chapter in the North Florida PGA Section, is the PGA head professional of The Downs Golf Practice Facility in Tampa, Fla.
Jon Johnson on the importance of hosting a spectacle like Golfest to bring in new traffic:
This year we hosted Golfest 2012 at our facility, where 3,000 people came over two days. Eleven companies took part in a demo day, along with speakers that included David Leadbetter and Dennis Walters. We also had two $25,000 putting challenges, a golf expo with 20 tents, a group of local PGA Professionals who gave more than 120 free lessons, and food & beverage as well. Golfest helped us in many ways, including serving as great exposure for our facility, giving the public a day or two to hit all the top clubs available on the market, and giving the public top teaching professionals to learn from as well. This takes amazing teamwork, from the volunteers who help the event run, to the teachers who forgo pay to help grow the game, to the charities who help run the putting contests and have tables setup to accept donations. But when it works it can be a great boon for both your facility and the golfing public.
Jon Johnson on the business impact of hosting a spectacle like Golfest to bring in new traffic:
The business impact is far-reaching. Tickets cost $10, and customers receive a goodie bag upon entry. That way the sponsors have some impact by guaranteeing that everyone goes home with a reminder that they were a part of this event. Speaking of sponsors, $55,000 worth of income comes from sponsors, booths, and tickets. With additional income coming from merchandise and food & beverage, minus expenses, it comes out to profit of between $17,000-$20,000. So you can make a lot of money from a venture like this. There are also the positive business impacts for the teachers who give the lessons and the sponsors who donate their products. It truly is a big event for the whole community.