Saturday, March 3, 2012

Increase Your Revenue

This week’s Crossing will focus on the big three: increased number of rounds, increased dollars spent per round and increased activity and revenue in the golf shop.  These are not easy commodities to come by in today’s market.

The program that I have recently been introduced to that clearly accomplishes all of these aspects is the Challenge Millions, owned and operated for the last 20 years by Gary Lopes.

During my career in golf I have been approached while playing a round to participate in par 3 promotions. I have also been asked by both facilities and other challenge operators to either help them formulate and/or market the concept and until now have declined.  Gary and his new partner Bobby Vermillion of Endless Golf have this program so well thought through and beneficial to all parties that I can’t see any downside and depending on the type of facility, it has the upside of adding fun and excitement to the round. The features are best viewed in the different links throughout the article and explained by Gary and Bob but I do want to list the benefits as I understand them because they are incredible and make the program a no-brainer.

Benefits to the golfer who participates for a $10 charge:

A year’s subscription to Golf Magazine or an annual renewal 

A custom fit wedge for only $9.95

Scratch off card (offer to include a discount in the pro shop: $5 off hat purchase or $10 off shirt purchase)

Tee shot on the green within a driver’s length wins a dozen golf balls

Hole-in-one wins a two day golf vacation and a shot for 1 million dollars at a featured  destination

Hole in One contest will be aired on a ½ hour television show put on by “Endless Golf”

Benefits to the course:

Golf course receives percentage of the $10 charge (depending on the program they choose, average course sells 200-300 sales per week

Participating golfer has to return to the shop to submit their registration for the subscription to Golf Magazine

Increased golf shop traffic and sales

 Detailed training and instructions on how to operate the program

A no-charge video on "Golf Destinations On Demand" available in over 4 million homes (value of this marketing exposure is $6,000)

        The obvious question that arises is “is this program going to hurt the image of the facility”. The video behind the  banner at the top that shows Bob and  Gary discussing the program and then the actual presentation should lay to rest that concern as properly handled as an ‘ambassador of fun’  the offer serves to add some excitement and value to the golf experience. Any lost margin on the hat and shirt discount can easily be creatively thought through on the front end as to what is offered and by the increase in volume.  
        I had an opportunity to see this work first hand at one of the facilities I work with in Ocean City, MD. In a shop that had trouble selling through two turns of pre-books the previous season we had multiple re-orders of both headwear and shirts in season. Our needs for goods through the summer allowed us to order off-shore deals on the headwear and off-price fill-ins on shirts that more than off-set the discounts. We replaced the dozen balls for the ‘within the driver tee shot’ with a free lunch in the restaurant which we were attempting to market anyway and that flexibility on Gary’s part to set the program to the individual needs of the facility was particularly appealing to me.
        I can’t think of any discussion more important than one about increasing dollars per round. I would suggest to anyone who feels the same and runs either semi-private, daily fee or a resort facility that they should have this turn-key conversation with Gary Lopes or Bobby Vermillion. Gary is available at  843-457-5447 or Also check out “Golf Destinations on Demand” on Comcast and contact Bob Vermillion at Endless Golf at 410-410-430-3281 or