Patrick Clary, the 2016 PGA Aloha Section Merchandiser of the Year for Private Facilities, is the PGA Head Professional at Kohanaiki Club, in Kailua Kona, Hawaii.
Patrick Clary on the importance of turning your practice range into a Par-Three Party:
We celebrate the PGA Tour’s four major events of each season by turning our practice range into a Par-Three Party that is a member experience they look forward to every year. With existing target greens and bunkers already in place, we create a five-hole par-three course that members play twice, for a 10-hole challenge that a quarter of our membership enjoys every time we host it. Welcoming members of all ages and skill levels on the Wednesday of each major championship, we have music, an open bar, and championship-themed food, like The Masters Famous Pimento Cheese Sandwich. Many members bring guests to enjoy the experience with them, giving us an opportunity to highlight the camaraderie that we promote at our club and showcase the amenities that we offer. We ensure the greens are running fast to create a challenge that mimics what their PGA Tour heroes are facing that week as well. Members of our golf professional staff play with each group to further develop the vital relationships we strive to foster every day. Utilizing our facility to create different types of member-events means a lot to our members and has a great effect on our facility year-round. In fact, our par-three affair continues to grow each year – we even have Kohanaiki pint glasses etched to commemorate the champion group of each event.
Patrick Clary on the business impact of turning your practice range into a Par-Three Party
Five years ago, we vowed to create a fun new event for members to enjoy several times per year. Now they look forward to sharing the experience with other members, as well as meeting new friends. Feedback we receive from members often includes requests for more frequent par-three challenges, but with our busier time of year during the winter, the scheduling of the Tour’s four major events fits perfectly into our calendar. It is important to promote member-events that bring people together in a fun atmosphere. There is no pressure to play well; we simply want them to have fun. It’s a free event – no charge to enjoy. This is one way we say thank you to members for their patronage throughout the year, ensuring that member relations are positive and member-retention always a priority. Many facilities can emulate these efforts, with some already hosting similar events. They mean a lot to members, which is really our driving force every day of the year.
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