Colin Gooch is the PGA director of golf at Griffin Gate Marriott Resort and Spa in Lexington, Kentucky.
While many times raising money for a charity or group of people attracts customers to your facility for a noble cause, our parent company started an innovative way to help your bottom line at the same time. Over Memorial Day Weekend, Marriott Golf ran the “Hit the Green for HOPE Campaign,” which consisted of donating $10 at a designated par 3 and then attempting to hit the green. If you hit it, you got 30 percent off your next purchase in the golf shop. If you missed, you got a 15 percent discount. All proceeds went to PGA HOPE, which seeks to use golf as a mechanism to help wounded servicemen and women in their recovery. The program was of great interest to us because it allowed us to help our heroes while driving traffic to the shop, without having to interrupt play or make any drastic adjustments to our tee sheet.
We’ve only run the program twice thus far (once on Memorial Day and an additional day where an event brought us heavy traffic) and had 200 participants, with half hitting the green and half missing. That’s led to merchandise sales of $2,795 along with $323 raised for PGA HOPE. The program’s gotten great feedback so far, as customers love to help our military and shop, and we are planning to continue the program and advertise it via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to help increase the available participation pool beyond our resort. So when you’re planning your next fundraiser, think outside the box and use shop credits as a way to draw people in. Your bottom line may get a nice boost, too.