Nick Wolfe, the 2009 Philadelphia PGA Section Merchandiser of the Year for Private Facilities and winner of the 2006 Southern Ohio PGA Section Bill Strausbaugh Award, is the PGA director of golf at Waynesborough Country Club in Paoli, Pa.
Nick Wolfe on the importance of kicking off the golf season with a big range event:
On the first Sunday of March, we hold our annual Dog Race on the range. It is coordinated by our general manager, Jack Molinaro, and each year members bring their dogs to compete. We have Newfoundlands running against Jack Russell Terriers, Golden Retrievers and other breeds. We lay out a straight, level track, and there are three heats, with the winner of each competing for the title of Grand Champion. Each of the three finalists receive a trophy and ribbon, but only the Grand Champion gets its name on the board in our clubhouse, alongside the Club Champions. We also take pictures of the winning dog with its family and run those on our website and in our newsletter to create even more excitement. Some years we have added other competitions such as Best Trick or Best Dressed, where people dress their dogs in Eagles or Phillies outfits or as ballerinas, and the winner gets a $25 gift certificate to Boxers, a local upscale pet store. In addition, we serve free coffee and donuts, as well as homemade biscuits for the dogs, and people can purchase a Bloody Mary or champagne. When you have 40 dogs charging down the track, it’s very exciting, and a lot of times the finish is determined by inches; or a nose, you might say.
Nick Wolfe on the business impact of kicking off the golf season with a big range event:
The Dog Race, in its fourth year, is not a money maker, but the members love it, and it’s a great way to use the range to create excitement at the facility and get people engaged just before the season kicks off. We get a nice crowd; we went from about a dozen dogs the first year to 40 this year, and we hope to have about 50 for the 2013 event. It’s a great way to get families out to the course, and some of our older members who’ve had dogs and love dogs also come and enjoy the day. We also have animal shelters and other dog-related charitable organizations set up tables or even bring dogs for adoption. One year, a group called Pals for Life, which trains therapy dogs, was also represented. It’s a goodwill event that’s about bringing the family together and benefitting the community, and people ask about it and look forward to it all year.