How to Make the Most Of Golf Course Promotions

The best way to suck revenue from your golf course is creating promotions or loyalty programs that aren’t specifically directed by your data.

After all, why offer something that won’t drive more sales just because you aren’t paying attention?

A few KPIs (Key Points of Interest) to watch:

  • Who are my customers?
  • Which customer demographic is coming most frequently?
  • Are any of my other customer demographics starting to generate more revenue?
  • What are my customers buying?
  • Which customers are buying the most?
  • Where are my profit margins high, and where are they low?

By asking these questions, you can start crafting a story about your customers. This makes it much easier to create promotions that will really drive sales WHILE building stronger relationships.

Below you’ll find:

  1. 5 Steps to Creating Golf Course Promotions
  2. 10 Questions to Audit Your Golf Course Promos
  3. Golf Promotion Idea Cheat Sheet

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5 Steps to Creating Golf Course Promotions

Step One: Write down who you are, and what you need.

This information gives you the motivating force for your promotion. Two important things to consider are:

  • Who are we? What does our brand look like? Is that who we want to be? Could we be better?
  • What do we need? Is our Pro Shop under-performing? Do we need to lower costs in our grill? Do we need to increase tee times during the week?

You’ll know if you’ve adequately answered this question with these two audit questions:

Audit Question 1: Does it make sense for who we are, and what our goals are for a promotion?

Audit Question #2: Are you incentivizing players to fill a need your course actually has, or will it take away from something already working?

Read through these “for instance” scenarios to get your mind working: 

Are you a tourist location where people come 1-3 times/year?

  • Do you need to maximize one-time revenue from these tourists?

Are you a mid-size course with a decent database, but infrequent repeat players?

  • Do you need to maximize the lifetime value of your database by increasing repeat play?

Are you a course with many golf-loving locals who come multiple times/week?

  • Do you need to ensure that your players stay loyal?   


Step Two: Weigh Your Options

Now it’s time to determine what you have to offer.

More importantly, it’s critical to understand  what you do NOT have to offer.

Use the data in your point of sale system to understand your customers’ buying trends. What are you selling a lot of? What isn’t moving? What items have low profit margins, and what have high profit margins?

Obviously, offering your lowest profit margin items as incentives will cost you. But can you offer higher profit margin inventory as an incentive for spending money elsewhere?

If you’re already running promotions, here are your audit questions:

Audit Question #3: Am I offering something that results in a big loss?

Audit Question #4: Do I have opportunities for incentives that don’t cost me anything, or do they encourage other big ticket sales?

Some examples:

Do you have a lot of open tee times?

  • Would it make sense to offer free rounds, since they don’t cost anything?

Do you have F&B items with a high profit margin?

  • Could you incentivize sales of lower profit margin items by offering free/discounted products that cost little out of pocket?

Step Three: Figure Out What They Want

This is critical to determining your user story. Well-developed software (like foreUP!) should allow you to dig into the data that will give you this information.

You can see things like:

  • When do most of my players request tee times?
  • What is my male to female ratio?
  • What’s the average age of my golfer?
  • Are they retired or are they businesspeople?
  • How many are frequent tournament players?
  • How many rent golf carts?
  • How many make F&B purchases?
  • How many make Pro Shop purchases?
  • How many same-day tee times do we usually get?
  • What’s the average $$ people spend at my course, grill, or shop?

Now look at the bigger picture. What does your “average” golfer look like? Who is your most profitable golfer? What does their story tell you about what they want?

Here are your audit questions for any current or previous promotions:

Audit Question #5: Does the promotion attract my target audience and give them what they actually want?

Audit Question #6: Does the promotion give away things they’re already happily paying for?

Here are some examples to get your mind working:

Are they frequent players?

  • Would they be motivated by a free round of golf?

Are they high spenders?

  • Would a free round of golf appeal to them, or would they prefer something that makes them feel like part of an insider’s club?

Are they tournament junkies?

  • Will they be motivated by reduced tournament fees?

Are they students?

  • Would they be motivated by a free lesson? Or perhaps beginner golf gear discounts?

Do they enjoy your grill or spend all the time on the course?

  • Is offering an F&B reward more appropriate than a free round?

Step Four: Find the Sweet Spot

Considering all of the determinations you’ve made in the first three steps, now it’s time to identify your golden opportunities.

To recap, you need to create a promotion that:

  1. Meets your goal/need
  2. Utilizes the most cost-effective offer
  3. Meets the desires/needs of your customer

Audit your current promotion:

Audit Question #7: Will this promotion/program get people to do what I really want them to?

Audit Question #8: Is there a better way to achieve my goals, given who my audience is and what I have to work with?

Questions You Might Ask Yourself:

  • If your average players are wealthy, will the promise of a free round actually encourage them to come more frequently?
  • If most of my players are tourists, is a loyalty program the best way to maximize revenue?
  • If serving beverages costs next to nothing, and we know players love buying cokes, would offering free drinks to loyalty program members be a nice touch (and perhaps increase F&B orders)?

Step Five: Communicate Your Promotion Clearly

Fortunately, you’ve already taken time to know your customer and create their story.

Now it’s time to use that knowledge to decide upon the best way of getting the word out about your loyalty program or promotion.

Audit Question #9: Do people know or get excited about the program?

Audit Question #10: What ways would be more effective, given the audience I’m talking to?

We’ve created some examples for fun promotions you can create for your course. Consider your customer story, weigh your options, and see if any of our ideas inspire you.

golf Course Promotions