6 ways to build your own golfer base

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As course owners and managers, you continue to work hard to build a business. There are so many things that get in your way, from bad weather, the cost of maintenance, the modern lifestyle, and families with full calendars. You wait for the tee sheet to fill up as other courses drop their rates in the hopes of filling their parking lots while emptying yours. Instead of waiting for golfers to come and play, what if you built your own golfers? This post presents a different idea. An idea that offers a program for growth, for the long term.

 In the 1960’s golf had Arnold Palmer. Arnie’s style combined with an amazing economy created millions of new golfers. People grew passionate about this game and in a hurry.  Because of Arnie, they took up the mantle and tried to play as he did. It worked! Golf grew because people had passion for the game, they had money, friends who played, and they had time. The game grew and grew. Private clubs, public courses, and even municipal courses were built to handle the new demand. Arnie, television, and the game of golf had incredible timing. The heavy lifting was being handled. Back then, course owners and managers handled the new crowds. They did not need to create them.  

My belief today is that you can grow your own golfers, as you continue to market in local communities. I believe you can create and should create your own success. It takes commitment and a team willing to build a program and to stay the course. Here are six thoughts for building golfers:

1) Create a partnership with the instruction staff. This program provides free instruction for three months (in a group setting). The mission is to provide value as we instill passion for the game. Bonus the instructors on rounds from these groups.

2) Provide ongoing short game instruction as well as playing lessons at minimal costs (again in group settings).

3) Work with club companies to acquire demo clubs for free for all new men and women to use during this beginning phase. Work also to acquire beginner sets to sell or rent at low prices.

4) Get beginners on the golf course, to play a few holes, as quickly as you can, and as often as you can. The evenings are the perfect time for this effort.

5) Set up a mentor program with staff members and regular golfers to coach new players as they work toward 9-hole or 18-hole rounds. Create celebration events along the way. Keep your new golfers interested.

6) Work closely with all new players and coaches to build the passion as you also work to lessen the frustrations of a tough game. It is important you work to stay the course.

This is a program you can conduct two or three times each year. The important points: keep cost to a minimum, teach not only the swing, but all facets of how to play, instruct people on the overall costs of golf, how to set a tee time etc. Make it friendly and fun while staying close to every new golfer. I believe your neighborhood has many men and women who want to play but they simply do not know how or where to begin. When you create new golfers, you have the opportunity to create loyal customers. Please feel free to contact me for more information on this program.  Thank you.

Jack Dillon writes the highfives series.  He is a presenter, speaker.  Jack has worked in golf for 45 years, so far.  He can be reached at 407-973-6136.  Jack lives in Orlando.


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