Added value vs discounts

Every golfer has his or her own reason for playing at a particular golf course. Some are creatures of habit who prefer the familiarity of a club. Some hear about a club through word of mouth and go check it out. Others plan their games around yardage. A majority talk about price as a factor. I would argue that price is only a deterrent when the golfer doesn`t feel they are getting value for their experience.

The turf on which most wars between courses are played is discounting. The game of discounting (four for threes, two for ones, etc.) has created a mindset that courses are over charging for tee times in the first place and therefore the entire game gets painted with the Å“this game`s too expensive brush.

Of course, golf course owners are in the business to make money and no one begrudges them that. But unrealistic pricing strategies can take a bite out of a majority of their tee sheets. Consumers have perceived values for the services they receive and golf is no exception. Owners need to take a step back and really analyze what they have to offer and how realistic their pricing structure matches the product.

I would argue that a course would never have to discount a round of golf if they provided fair prices and presented their customers with added value. There are any number of ways to provide added value such as handing out divot tools, give customers a two ball pack with the course`s logo on it. And above all else, make sure that everyone on your staff treats every customer like a member in good standing whether it`s a private, semi-private or public course.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

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