How to attract new golfers and generate revenue by putting your practice facility to work for you

Using your practice facility to attract more players and contribute to your golf property's bottom line

Golf clubs want to keep their members happy and attract new golfers.  The goal of a golf course facility is to maintain a high standard of playability while maintaining revenue margins.   As any business, this presents a challenge to golf course owners, managers, and superintendents.   They have many concerns when it comes to running a golf course facility.

What is the Golf Course Industry’s Largest Concern?

According to Golf Course Industry State of Industry Report (2016), the largest industry concern facing golf course superintendents is attracting a younger generation of players.   These concerns are well founded, especially when considering the age of golfers against the age of the U.S. population.

Age of Golfers

  • Under 30 – 5%
  • 30-39 – 12%
  • 40-49 – 22%
  • 50-59 – 24%
  • 60-69 – 18%
  • 70+ – 19%

Source:   Static Brain Golf Player Demographic Statistics http://www.statisticbrain.com/golf-player-demographic-statistics/

Age of U.S. Population (2010)

  • Under 18 – 25.7%
  • 18-44 – 36.5%
  • 45-64 – 26.4%
  • 65+ – 13.0%

Source:  U.S.  Census Bureau in 2010 https://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-03.pdf

Although most of the population (62.2%) is under the age of 44 (based on 2010 census data), less than half of the golfers are under the age of 49 (39.9%).  Why is that?  A possible explanation is that a round of golf takes a few hours to play, and it is fairly expensive when compared with other recreational activities.  Time and money is not always an abundant quantity for people who are just starting their careers and families.

This could explain why only 9.6% of the U.S. population plays golf.   Over ¾ of golfers are male (77.5%), and most golfers are 50+ years old (61%).  The median income of a golfer is $95.000.  It is clear that there is a large segment of the population that the traditional game of golf does not reach.  The goal is to attract new golfers.

Who has Succeeded in Attracting a Younger Generation of Players to Golf

Golf course superintendents are concerned with finding innovative ways to attract new golfers to their golf courses and appeal to younger players.  This presents a challenge because there are many forms of entertainment competing for the younger generation’s time and money, causing the number of players to decrease.

While traditional golf’s number of players is shrinking, there is a business concept in the golf industry that is growing, Topgolf.  Topgolf combines elements of traditional golf driving range in a casual and fun atmosphere.

TopGolf was founded in 2000, and celebrated its 10 millionth member in 2013.  Topgolf is attracting new golfers to its facilities.

How is Topgolf Attracting Younger Players to Play Golf?

Topgolf creates a entertaining environment with lively music and comfortable places to gather.  The driving bays are comfortably furnished.  Trendy food and beverages are served and there are adjacent bars.  Topgolf delivers the an engaging experience that attracts busy people who are looking go get together with friends, family, and co-workers for a few hours of entertainment.

Gregory Silvers, CEO of EPR Properties, Topgolf’s primary landlord describes the success of Topgolf.  “Traditional activities like golf and bowling have lost popularity mainly because of issues like time commitment and costs, but also because many of the operators have failed to realize that they are not simply in the golf or bowling business, but rather they are in the experience business.”

Source:  https://smartasset.com/retirement/the-economics-of-golf

What can Your Golf Course Learn From Topgolf’s Success in Attracting New Golfers.

Treat your golf course practice facility or driving range as an asset and it can be used to attract a younger generation people to your golf facility.

Serve food and beverage

People get hungry and thirsty.  Most golf and country clubs have restaurants, consider a smaller menu for people on the range.  If you do not have restaurant facilities, consider inviting food trucks to stop by on designated days.   Have water readily available, but don’t shy away from offering “adult beverages” either.

Play music

Create an engaging environment with music.  It is a great way to energize a group, and enhance their experience.  With so many blue tooth speaker options available, sound systems do not have to be complicated and expensive.

Have comfortable seating arrangements for your guests to gather.

Seating arrangements offer guests an opportunity to engage in conversation.  It makes it a go-to place for group outings or a place to do business in a casual atmosphere.

Encourage groups

Many companies are moving away from the round of golf to close a deal, to a more casual atmosphere.  Be that place.  People love to gather around a fun activity, be it a church group, school group or just a group of friends.  Also consider reaching out to nearby corporations and let them know that your outdoor golf range is a great place for a team-building exercise.

Be family-friendly

People under the age of 49 are the most likely to have children.  What better way to attract different generations of golfers to your course?  Encourage families to come to your practice range by having child-sized golf clubs available for the children to use.

Take advantage of these opportunities to transform your practice facility into a fun atmosphere that attracts not only new generation of golfers, but also a demographic that may not necessarily visit a traditional golf course facility.  This new generation of golfers will help your practice facility generate profit.

Make your driving range a profit generating facility

A few simple updates at your golf course practice facility will help attract more golfers.  But not only do you want to attract a younger generation of players to your golf property, you want this increase in traffic to generate revenue.  Mike Orloff from Golf Industry Central posted 5 Easy Ways to Increase Range Revenue

    1. Offer different price points for bucket of balls

 

    1. Always offer the largest bucket of balls first

 

    1. Have some kind of beverage or snack service available

 

    1. Have free usage of practice clubs for the beginner or visiting player

 

    1. Implement a “loyalty” card.

 

Source:http://www.golfindustrycentral.com.au/mikes-space-articles/5-easy-ways-to-increase-range-revenue/

The method is straightforward and uncomplicated: Encourage new customers by offering varying price points, make it simple by offering practice clubs, keep them on the range by offering food and beverage, and most important keep them coming back by offering a loyalty card.

Increase your golf Property’s Bottom Line

Create a golf course practice facility that is engaging and inviting.  Your practice facility will generate revenue while attracting a younger generation of golfers to your golf property.

How Designer Golf Products can help

Designer Golf Products offers a full line of practice facility products that can be customized to meet your driving range’s needs, while maintainging a high standard of golf course branding.
From seating, refreshment stations, and portable bars, we have the furnishings that create a lasting visual impression and are durable and sustainable.  Also visit our traditional practice facility products page to see our selection of driving range furnishings.

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