July 2, 2015

Kevin Swan: Run Big Break-Like Events

Kevin-SwanKevin Swan is the PGA head professional at TPC Prestancia in Sarasota, Florida.

Kevin Swan on the importance of running Big Break-like events:
While I was in college, I helped with an event that included a skills challenge similar to Golf Channel’s “Big Break,” such as the glass break and the flop wall. It was always a cool event and something different and we thought it would be a good thing to bring here to TPC Prestancia. We marketed it to members as a fun evening event, and coupled it with a cash bar on the practice range along with some light hors d’oeuvres. The event lasted about 90 minutes and we set up various stations with the premise being to get the most points possible. The top two men and top two women earned prizes, which was $40 each in shop credits. There was also an entry fee of $25, which is on the lower end for our events. Our goal was to add another fun evening event, which was informal and short in time rather than another “on-course” event which can take several hours.

Kevin Swan on the business impact of running Big Break-like events:
The event was a success and a lot of fun. Nearly 30 individuals participated last year, which was the first time we ran the event. It is scheduled again for this year. Out of those participants, 60 percent scheduled dinner reservations, a nice gain over the norm. We made a little revenue from the $25 entry fee and from the prizes as well. The pot was $150, with the prizes being $40 worth of golf shop credit, which is $160 in revenue we ordinarily would not have gotten. In addition, a couple of the participants bought some extra items, using the opportunity to do some auxiliary shopping. We also made money off the cash bar. Instructionally, after being intrigued by how my fellow professionals and I demonstrated things like the flop shot, we had one or two people come back after the event for a short game lesson. The event helped turn our range into a profit center for the night and increased revenue for our facility’s other offerings. Overall it was a fun event that had the young participants especially saying this is something really cool and something they’d love to do with their friends. After all, breaking glass is always fun, right?

If you would like to email the author of this Best Practice directly, please email kswan@heritagegolfgroup.com