October 25, 2018

Michael Kierner: Combine the Range and Course for a Super Demo Day

Michael Kierner is the PGA Head Golf Professional at Maplewood Country Club, in Maplewood, New Jersey.

Michael Kierner on the importance of combining the range and course for a super demo day:
In these days of fierce competition for hard goods sales, those of us at green grass facilities could have a huge advantage over our online competitors and big box neighbors. At Maplewood Country Club, one big event we’ve put together for the past four years to help us gain that advantage is a “Super Demo Day”. This special event occurs on the first Saturday in June and takes a lot of planning to pull off. With an iron-only practice range that will not support such an endeavor, we close of our first three holes and have developed a teeing area to create a driving range similar to what other clubs have. I welcome half a dozen of the biggest names in golf club manufacturing to demo what they have to offer. With Titleist, Taylor Made, Callaway, Ping, Cobra, and Tour Edge showing off their wares, we have a full driving range of tents, banners, and demo clubs on hand. The event is open to members, their families, and friends. Sales reps and club fitters from each company are there to discuss the benefits of the newest technology. They also help our members and guests gauge what clubs are best suited to their game. We advertise the day via email and use promotional flyers provided by the club companies, ensuring that we have a great turnout. Members love the fact that in addition to simply trying the latest equipment, they can get a personal club fitting as well. They enjoy the experience and look forward to the “Super Demo Day” event each year. Furthermore, they appreciate our ingenuity in creating the range as we do. On that note, we have recently offered “Driving Range Nights” as special events throughout the season, which provides the members the opportunity to practice their longer clubs. This evening not only allows the membership to practice their longer clubs, but also gives us the opportunity to offer lessons that we would not be able to give on our smaller range. These “Driving Range Nights” occur twice monthly from Memorial Day to Labor Day but will be more frequent in the coming seasons.

Michael Kierner on the business impact of combining the range and course for a super demo day:
Our “Super Demo Day” event has been a huge success from the start. Members love the opportunity to try the latest equipment, and this often results in new club sales. We welcome more than fifty individuals to our demo event each year and many of them come with buying in mind. In fact 10% of our annual club sales occur on this day. And in situations when members don’t buy that day, it puts the idea of new clubs in their head, often deciding to buy later that season either at one of the “Driving Range Nights” or after a conversation and fitting with our golf professional staff. We coordinate with our food & beverage service to ensure dinner is available, usually at the pool or on our beautiful back patio. The relationships we build with our vendors go a very long way in solidifying the relationships we have with our members. Being able to provide impeccable service and offer the best equipment available is vital to our success at Maplewood. Being able to truly think outside the box and offer these demo/driving range experiences helps solidify our golf shop sales, as well as make our members very happy.


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