With some golf courses open and others opening soon it will be a relief to all operators to have green fees and/ or membership revenue coming in. But what about the rest of your operation? It will likely be quite some time before food and beverage operations open up and the modified golf shop experience might stick around for a while too. With only one, or a few golfers allowed in the shop at once and no chance at doing a ‘sidewalk’ sale, what is happening to all that merchandise that has already arrived for 2020?
If you do not have an online store, now is the time to talk to your POS software provider and/ or your website company about options. The online store module may have a cost to it, as will website adjustments, but we have worked with both over the last few weeks and have found that prices have been reduced or are negotiable to help courses get started in these uncertain times.
Even if you just sell gift cards (and no other physical product) you are generating cash flow for future purchases. If you add a few retail items to the store you can encourage some ‘buying-from-the-couch’ for pick-up in the shop or even offer delivery.
Another option is to work with your equipment suppliers to have product shipped directly from them to your golfers. A very easy example of this is the Titleist Loyalty Rewarded promotion which is on now until May 17. All you need to do is promote the program through your website, newsletter and social media and get your golfers to fill out the order form for direct shipping. You are not reducing your current inventory but you are generating cash.
Bundling Your Green Fee
If you already have green fee players, why not try to sell to them before they arrive with a package bundle? You could add a dozen golf balls to your green fee at a reduced rate. The promotion could only be available during off-peak times such as afternoons or twilight. You will have to reduce both the green fee and the retail price of the balls slightly but you are clearing inventory. Consider what other items would work instead of golf balls, which are typically not a hard sell.
If you have a membership base you are likely going to have to focus on them a lot more in 2020 than your green fee players. Some courses are, or may, open to members only at first to restrict the number of golfers on their property. Even if a property is open to both members and guests, restricted tee time availability will mean a balancing act between keeping the members happy and generating green fee revenue. Now is the time to be thinking about both membership retention and membership growth.
After a year like this one, some of your members may not play enough to achieve their perceived value. How are you going to keep them?
If you are only open to members how are you going to generate enough revenue? What promotions can you put in place now to gain new members?
If you would like to chat about any of these topics give us a call at anytime ay 604-506-2226. We love talking about industry ideas!
We, Jeff and Tara Ciecko of CK Golf write two blogs, one is our 19th Hole Blog where we share personal experiences and the other an Industry Blog where we comment on general business and internet marketing best practices, sales strategies and give golf industry related opinions. We have owned CK Golf for 12 years and provide business services to the golf and other industries. As of July 31, 2016 our life and our business became ‘location independent’. Our 19th Hole Blog is about the places we visit and the things we do. If you have any questions or comments, or happen to be in the same location as us please reach out and contact us anytime.