Joe Wisocki, the 2006 Minnesota PGA Section Facility Promoter of the Year for Resort Facilities, is the PGA general manager at Ridge Creek Dinuba Golf Club in Dinuba, Calif.
In an age of relying on emails and social media, we have found that one of the most effective ways for us to increase participation for in-house events is to simply call our membership directly. In the past, we have done calls for special offerings in the golf shop such as custom golf balls for Christmas, but we really wanted to also make calls for our in-house events because they had suffered from lack of participation. This does take up a lot more time for our staff, but the personal relationship we are building is really worth it. Another way we have been able to increase participation for our in-house tournaments is by offering double the points in our loyalty program for members who play. The race to see the final 32 loyalty point members (those 32 get to go on a member trip and play in a Ryder Cup-style tournament) is always fun and goes down right to the last day in May. The combination of starting to make individual phone calls and awarding more points for participation in our in-house events has really helped add energy to our tournament program.
We have increased our participation for in-house tournaments by 25 percent since we started making calls and offering the loyalty points incentive. We have also seen a 22 percent bottom line increase at our club, which is certainly helped by the jump in participation for our events. We find that relationships with members have improved greatly because there is a more personal connection; they know how much we want them here enjoying the course and everything we have to offer.
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