Tom Michaels, the 2013 Middle Atlantic PGA Section Assistant Professional of the Year, is the PGA head professional at Berkshire Country Club in Reading, Pennsylvania.
Recently we identified some days and times during the week where the tee sheet was noticeably light. Wednesday and Friday saw most of the play and lunch crowd going out around 1 and 1:30 pm, leaving quite an opportune opening between 12 and 1 pm. In response to this, we created a league-event called the “men’s team matches”. These matches feature a shotgun-start every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. In preparation, we block the tee sheet between 12:15 PM and 1:00 PM to make way for the 20 to 30 players who sign up every week. The players love this league because they don’t have to make tee times or work to find a game. All they need to do is show up, which-ever of these days they desire, and we will pair them on the spot, up to 15 minutes beforehand. In today’s society, people cannot commit to things the way they once did and often are left looking for suitable options to fill their days at the last moment. This level of flexibility in which this league is built upon, is, without question, the reason for its popularity.
Of the 20-30 participants per shotgun, about 10-15 players fall into the category of “wouldn’t have played golf that day without the event offering”. This is key metric, because we see 40-60 additional rounds per week because of this system that wouldn’t have existed before. Not only does this result in extra golf revenue, but almost all of these players partake in lunch, cocktails, and even sometimes dinner. In addition, each player buys into a $20 shop credit per event, over the course of 20 weeks! Between the extra cart fees, green fees, food & beverage revenues, and shop credit, this program’s monetary impact is quite profound, considering it was created in a time when play was essentially non-existent before!
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