Courses find solutions to beat the heat
Bishop Pickering was having the round of his life, so he chose to ignore the onslaught of a violent thunderstorm and kept playing. At this point, you may know this famous scene from the movie Caddyshack doesn't end well for the good bishop, but it does make us wonder. How can one's love for the game can be deep enough to play in any conditions – even when the mercury is hitting record highs?
For some, love may not come without an incentive. That's especially true for many courses in America's Sun Belt during the dog days of summer. Oppressive heat can keep golfers at bay, creating challenges for operators working to attract new golfers. They're hoping at minimum to keep their regular customers on the tee.
Taking on the challenge
Several GOLF Business Solutions' course partners are taking this challenge head-on this summer. Deep down, golfers just want to play golf, but sometimes it takes a little something extra. Realizing this, these partner courses have introduced promotions and initiatives to combat the heat and keep their customers on their fairways.
Desert courses beat the heat with new promotions. "Heat is a way of life in Arizona," says Tony Barten, General Manager of the acclaimed Legacy Golf Club in Phoenix, "and we prepare for the hotter summer months with a variety of things that help our golfers notice it less."
Handing out mango-scented iced towels and ensuring water stations located around the course are always chock full of ice and water are a few of the special touches Barten says they incorporate at the Legacy Golf Club.
"Legacy attracts golfers with aggressive pricing," says Barten, who notes that a golfer might pay a little less during the hotter parts of the day. Prices are tiered based on demand, and there may be three to four rate breaks throughout the day.
Nearby, at Arizona Grand Resort & Spa, the management team loves its regulars, but the course also attracts a lot of guests from the on-site resort.
As the weather started heating up in May, the golf course and resort collaborated to introduce a "Burger & Brew" promotion, which combines a round of golf and a hearty meal for a price 'that's nearly half-off retail. The course has incorporated paid social media to support the promotion.
"Our guests love a great round of golf paired with a quality burger and beer - especially in air-conditioned comfort," said Director of Golf Jimmy Bills. "The resort restaurant loves the increased traffic during what normally are the slower summer months."
Florida takes on the humidity
Across the continent in Florida, where heat combines with humidity, Raptor Bay Golf Club in Bonita Springs uses added value to attract golfers in the summer when the temperatures regularly peak into the 90s. It's not out of the norm for golfers to receive a $5 lunch voucher, drink coupons and even free logoed hats with their regular daily green fee.
Texas 'kicks the dust-up'
Texas can heat up quite nicely in the summer, which brings us to several courses in the Dallas area that have preparations in place when temperatures rise.
The Bridges Golf Club in Gunter created an "It's Heating Up" promotion by offering golfers 20% off throughout June. The promotion has generated more than $1,000 and 70 rounds of incremental business so far. Wildhorse Golf Club at Robson Ranch in Denton says it's giving customers the "Shirts Off Our Back" to beat the heat, a deal that includes a logoed shirt and a discounted green fee that has netted the course more than $10,000.
Grab-and-go special heats up in California Sun
In the California desert, Indian Canyons Golf Resort has been a popular choice for golf in Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley since 1961, when the likes of Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, and Ronald Reagan used to walk its fairways. Summer is the time when customers are offered the 'course's "Grab ‘N Go" special, which includes 18 holes of golf with cart, a choice of a breakfast sandwich or hot dog, and a small bucket of range balls. Through only 19 days in June, the incremental business was highlighted by 63 rounds sold, which equated to nearly $4,000 in sales.
When summer's high temperatures cause golfers to reconsider booking that next round, promotions like these can offer excellent incentives to brave the heat.
To learn more on how you can promote your course, CLICK HERE.