April 22, 2013

Kal Katz: Allow Local Heroes to Hit for Free

Kal-KatzKal Katz is the owner of the Mad Golfer Golf Club, a past GRAA Top Range winner, in Southampton, Pa.

Kal Katz on the importance of allowing local heroes to hit for free:
Having been blessed with a comfortable and enjoyable life, I felt the need five to six years ago to give back to our military. I wanted to help those who have sacrificed so I can safely and happily lead the life I live. So, being the owner of a golf range, I started a program where active and retired service men and women were entitled to one free small bucket per week for the rest of their lives. And if they want to upgrade that small bucket into a jumbo it’s only $5. It started small, with only three to four participants per week but now we give thousands of free buckets away per year, forcing us to have a sign-up sheet to help keep track of it all. Building off the success of the military members, we started adding in police, firemen and EMTs to the offer two years ago and that has also been extremely well-received. It’s has been a very rewarding process for us, as I feel like I can give back to my community and also bring positive exposure for my facility at the same time.

Kal Katz on the business impact of allowing local heroes to hit for free:
The amount of buckets sold for free has increased tenfold each year, while 40 percent of our free buckets are upgraded to the $5 jumbo variety. In some sense, we’ve seen more goodwill benefits than any financial benefits. While we hoped that this would lead to the customers buying equipment and taking lessons through us, and that’s exactly what’s happened, it’s hard to exactly quantify. But I can tell you that all military personnel that I speak to thank us for the acknowledgement and pledge to us that they will purchase all their golf equipment and accessories from us. What is directly attributable to this program, however, are the smiles and sense of warmth that are seen on the faces of everyone involved. I feel like I’ve made a difference while these brave men and women feel like they’re respected by their community, something that unfortunately happens way too little. It’s a concept that’s so easy to duplicate, and one I hope takes the country by storm.