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Marketing 101 – It’s June. Are you ready for the winter?

The other day I was having a conversation with Chad Cole at Titleist about junior golf and the subject of Australia’s progressive program came up (see an earlier video post interview David Ledbetter for a explanation of what the Aussies do). Chad brought up the fact that what is being done isn’t a secret but then realized that we had a shorter season in Canada and then courses need to keep revenue to a max. That’s when I brought up an idea that was going to be a post later in the summer, but now seems like a good a time as any.

If you’re running a golf course and you can only derive revenue from April (late March, if you’re lucky) until November have you ever given thought as to how to exploit your property throughout the winter? Some courses keep their restaurants open all year long. Some continue to cater to wedding parties. Some are starting to put in gym equipment and offer extended memberships with golf fitness training.

But have you considered that you have a 5 mile cross-country course just sitting there not being utilized. We live in Canada people! Why would you not exploit winter sports at your facility rather than leaving it dormant. Sure it would mean an investment in rentals and a knowledgeable staff. But think about the opportunity. With some aggressive local marketing you can bring non-golfers to your site. You are not limited by a tee sheet and slow play. You have an opportunity to have year round memberships that might include turning some skiers into golfers. A short term investment for long term game. it’s not rocket science.

It’s your business. Make the most of it for goodness sake. And maybe, just maybe, with higher annual revenues, the price of golf can stabilize and remain affordable for the rest of us.

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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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