Top GM’s Share Secrets to Maximizing Revenue

What takes the least amount of effort to generate the highest financial benefit? We asked industry leaders to share their secrets, what they said should motivate you to evaluate your 2018 plan:

Glenn Lee
General Manager, 
Escondido Golf and Lake Club

1) Why is it important for facilities to have a solid junior golf program?

A solid Junior golf program is vital to any successful Country Club or Golf facility.  A great junior program helps involve the entire family and normally gets more people in the family playing golf.  A solid program gets junior golfers engaged with other young golfers, which can lead to more lessons, F&B revenue, tournament revenue, and overall member retention.

 

2) How do you measure the ROI of a junior golf program?

ROI can be measured in many ways; Increased clinic, lesson, and league participation and revenue. F&B revenue per family can be measured by month, (normally during the summer the entire family will be more active at the club in they have a junior golfer).   Retention of a junior golfer family is normally much higher and upgrades of new Junior golfer that are not in golf category can be tracked by comparing your upgraded memberships with your Junior golf roster.

3) What impact does junior golf have on member/player retention?

 Retention is the key to every club, keeping the family active in a junior golf (or any youth program at the Club)  will always increase overall member retention and usage. Using technology to track performance and usage and this also supports retention.

 4) What advise would you give other GM’s and Golf Professionals as they plan for 2018? 

Use every form of technology to engage both the junior golfers and their parents.  Create competitions on who is using the club and is active in junior golf programs. Create Winter seminars on how Junior.Golf can be utilized and reward those that sign up during the seminars. Create monthly programs that use Junior.Golf to promote DCP competitions, Junior League golf, parent-child scrambles, junior-junior scrambles, grandparent-junior scrambles. Create social opportunities before or after and capture F&B revenue


Mike Sizemore
Director of Club Management, Omni Hotels and Resorts

1) Why is it important for facilities to have a solid junior golf program?

The Club world has been changing drastically for 10+years now.  The most successful Clubs today have done a great job keeping up with the demands of the active family who uses the Club vs. the days where the Club was a place for Dad to spend his weekends.  While junior golf programs have been around forever the most successful junior programs have also adapted to these new family demands.  They have also adapted to the demands today’s junior have with respect to technology.  In today’s world kids drive the decisions made for them about how they spend their social time. Getting kids engaged with golf at your Club is now a corner stone of the foundation of membership retention.

2) How do you measure the ROI of a junior golf program?

There are a lot of ways to measure the ROI of a junior program.  It would be easiest to look at this through a short term lens and measure things like monthly spend of a family engaged in junior golf vs a family that isn’t. Pretty safe to assume that the family who has kids in a junior golf program will spend more at the club, and you could probably even slice it down to where they are spending more.  Measuring long term ROI may be more difficult, but I bet it can be tied to future membership sales, special events, longer termed memberships, etc.

3) What impact does junior golf have on member/player retention?

For a young family it may be the only thing that validates them having that membership.

4) What advise would you give other GM’s and Golf Professionals as they plan for 2018?

Find more ways to get your families out to your Club.  Junior Golf is a great way to build weekly engagement with your members.  Having a platform like Junior.Golf help manage the process is not only a home run for the members but it is also an incredible tool for your golf professional staff.  This is the most turnkey platform you can find in the golf industry.


 

Joseph Dente
Director of Operations, Braelinn Golf Club

1) Why is it important for facilities to have a solid junior golf program?

There are several reasons why I believe a solid junior golf program is a must in order to have a full service Golf/Country Club. First, junior golfers of today are the members of tomorrow, without their early involvement it is unlikely that we can continue to grow as an industry. Second, a solid junior program will lead to increase revenue in all other areas of the club, including, pro shop sales (clubs, merchandise etc.); food and beverage sales; and pool and fitness departments, if applicable to your club. Third, a solid junior program will result in both new memberships sales and increase in retention rates of existing members. Finally, a solid junior golf program will help instill moral character, honesty, self reliance and the benefits of hard work into the young students of the game.

2) How do you measure the ROI of a junior golf program?

Measuring the ROI of junior program is both tangible and intangible. First, the tangible measurement are mainly financial, interims of (1) lesson, clinics, group programing, summer camp revenues; (2) enrollment in junior tournaments, junior league programs, and other income generating events; (3) sale of junior merchandise attire and golf clubs; (4) F&B sales prior to and after junior events or practices; (4) spectator golf cart rentals during junior sponsored events; and additional membership dues for enrollment in teaching academy.  The intangible ROI items, which are somewhat more difficult to measure, include (1) increase membership enrollment; (2) retention of members who have junior golfers involved in the program; (3) juniors who get involved in other areas of the club such as pools, member events, fitness, tennis and camps, all which generate additional income; and (4) income generate from such services as club fittings, tech lessons and cart rentals by parents.

3) What impact does junior golf have on member/player retention?

Again a solid Junior program is key in developing new members and retaining existing members who have child. In summary, even if parents are not using the club enough to justify the dues, they will continue to be a member if their child is involved in a junior program. In addition, quality junior programs can lead social members to upgrading into a golf membership, so their child can play on a regular basis. Moreover, many potential members who have children require a junior program before they join. As an example, we have members that transferred from other clubs or joined our club solely based upon our junior program. These are now dues paying members, who would not have otherwise selected our club but for the junior program. It is difficult to quantify the numbers of members that join or stay because of junior programming (absent a full member survey) but it is a safe estimate that at 10 to 15% of our membership is because of our junior programming.

4) What advise would you give other GM’s and Golf Professionals as they plan for 2018?

The main points of direction I would advise other GMs in developing a solid Junior program are as follows:

  • Hire a top notch staff, with PGA professionals that have a passion for developing young golfers.
  • Plan, by year end you should have all your spring, summer and fall programming set to go.
  • Inform your entire team, in all departments, of the junior program so they can help develop it.
  • Market your junior program, with print, emails, web site, Facebook and at all member events.
  • Make it fun, junior golfer need to have fun so they keep coming back.
  • Get parents involved by allowing them to go out on the course and watch their child’s development.
  • Keep it reasonable (financially) make it so a parent can afford to have their child involved, give multi child discounts and make sure parents see the valve in the fees charged.
  • Make sure your membership sales team is fully informed of the junior golf program.
  • Take time to meet with potential new members and explains the benefits of your junior program.
  • Make sure you get involved in national programming (junior league, LPGA girls golf etc).
  • Make sure your programming is able to deal with growth of the golfer, so as they get better, they get advanced lessons and advance level of golf events.

Here at Braelinn, we have been blessed with a great team, led by Chris Knobloch, and under his leadership we have grown our program to great heights, including having the largest junior in the nation, and this year the largest increase in membership enrollment in all of ClubCorp. The above is only a summary of the benefits of a solid junior program, there are so many more.

 


 

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