Why will golfers play in your golf outing? Is it the Cause, Course or Incentive?
As long as you get a full field, more than likely you don’t care and moreover, never even bothered to find out the reason why. You are too busy counting money and thanking heaven that the whole thing is over for another year.
But it really isn’t. This day, you have unlimited face to face access of every single “customer” in your field and you need repeat customers. Take advantage of this precious time. Ask questions, shake hands, thank everyone personally and invite them back verbally next year!
Golf outings are like the three corners of a triangle. None are more important than the other, but each are absolutely critical to the structure itself. Your goal is to make sure that your particular “triangle” remains intact and strong. Allow me to explain.
Triangle Point #1 – Golf outing committee members oftentimes organize golf outings under the assumptions that the golfers they hope to entice to play actually care about “the cause” as much or more than they personally do. More often than not, they would be wrong. “The cause” merely gives you a reason to hold an event, a reason to get together. It will bring out some loyal fans, some fanatics and some that are simply out there because they were asked by influential committee members and couldn’t refuse because their invitation will be coming later in the summer for their cause.
Triangle Point #2 – Golf outing committee members oftentimes make golf course decisions based upon cost, which ends up a very real part of their bottom line for the day. Sometimes they vote to sacrifice quality or location for price. They are almost always wrong in doing so, for this point of the triangle is critical to the strength of the other two. Bottom line dollars are based off green fees and players will balk at paying 4 times the standard rate for a course they can play at their leisure but still choose not to because there are nicer places and summer is short, so why would they play this place because you are having an event there? Regardless of “the cause” people weigh the value or perceived value of the course when filling out the registration form. Pick a beautiful or exclusive facility and you can command both a higher price and secure players who simply want to play a more elite property. The way to measure this is to simply ask each person on the committee if they would stop in the pro shop to buy a logo shirt or logo cap from this place as they probably will never get back there to play it and they would be kind of proud to show people that they had been there. If more than 50% say “yes they would”, that is probably a course that satisfies this point of the triangle.
Triangle Point #3 – The average golf outing has 20% of the field participating based on value, PERSONAL value. In other words… What’s in it for them? These are also the very same people that are more than likely guests of Point #1 above or friends of the player that loves to play ritzy courses as in Point #2. Ironically these 20% are guests and really don’t care about any of the above. They are often getting a free round of golf compliments of their host or are asked to fill the spot on the team by a sponsor who was awarded a couple of foursomes and oddly these are the same 20% that will be talking the loudest about your golf outing long after the event has ended, good or bad. Golf outing committee members oftentimes put far less thought into player incentive gifts or “goody bags” than they should. They opt for the easy route by asking for donations of items from local businesses to stuff into plastic bags. Sunscreen, a pack of tees, a hand towel, a sleeve of logo balls from the local bank and a logo visor from the local insurance agent that nobody would wear fishing or gardening let alone around town ( if you notice, the same insurance guy is even wearing a Nike logo cap and not his own giveaway visor ). There is a reason, and it is because nobody wants this stuff. I have heard it referred to as “give it away or throw it away merchandise”.
Of course I am not saying that everyone should get the keys to a new car in their goody bag, but I am saying that people remember their participation gift long after they forget their score.
Please know that I am not saying that you need to spend any money either! In fact, by utilizing current sponsors and coupling your sponsors into group packages ( goody bag, beverage cart, tee signs ) as I have talked about in other blogs, you can give away AMAZING participation or “goody bag” gifts, actually make money for your event doing it, and bring your sponsors an actual return on their investment instead of having an unsightly logo of the local bank on the left chest of the rain jacket donated.
I am not advocating going straight to the most elite club in town, ordering steak dinners for all and giving away silver goblets to three generations of people that play in your event. I am saying that things can indeed be too cheap and that people will pay for VALUE. Keep your Golf Outing Triangle strong.