Running Successful Tournaments
Successful, well-attended golf events are key to any club's success, but are especially crucial to the business at private clubs. David Corrado, General Manager and Director of Golf at TPC River Highlands, gives helpful tips to making your next tournament a success.
Member events provide your business with many opportunities, including revenue, increased activity and higher membership sales and retention. The number one key to running a successful tournament is variety. Variety in experience, in theme, in food & beverage offerings, and in our target audience has ensured our events reach a wide range of members and that our events will not become stale or routine. Variety can be achieved in many ways, here are a few.
A great way to differentiate your events year by year is by choosing a theme that can be tied into the event in multiple ways. Themes for our Men’s Member Guest the last 3 years have been Wild West, Aloha, and Margaritaville. Each have a distinctive apparel for the participants and staff, each have a menu tailored to highlight the talents of our culinary team, and each have a style of music to set the tone of the event. Bonus activities are tied to each theme; Lasso lessons for Wild West, hula dancers for Aloha, and a Jimmy Buffet tribute band for Margaritaville help bring the entertainment full circle. Our participants have really bought into the themes, many refusing to miss out on what surprises a theme could entail.
Successful restaurants have strong identities, themed at a specific culture’s food, source of food or period in history and our successful golf events have embraced menus featuring a different food each time. For example, our Ladies’ Member Guest featured the freshest and lightest French foods, our May Nine & Dine featured an Italian spread, and our October One Day Member Guest menu showcased foods indicative of a German Oktoberfest celebration. All have led to additional buzz around our events focused around food, and have been very well received when compared to the cookie cutter deli buffets, and other traditionally served buffet spreads while only increasing costs marginally.
While it is beneficial to focus on your largest demographic of members (perhaps the competitive male golfer), it is very important to activate other members in a variety of events. Originally created as a member retention tool, these alternative target audiences are a strong source of revenue and activity levels. Host events such as a parent-child night, with 1 hour of golf followed by an animated movie which gets youth and spouses that may not be golfers to the course for a fun evening at the club. Focus on increasing female activity by hosting couples golf, and ladies’ member guests. Activating these alternative target audiences helps increase the relevance of membership to many of your customers.