Most golf courses offer some type of program which allows the golfer to pay a flat fee and play an unlimited number of rounds. It is crucial to know how many “program” rounds are played and what the average rate is for these rounds. The program rounds rate should be compared to the non-program rounds rate at the daypart level, which will help to determine if the programs should be altered. While knowing the average program rate by golfer can be difficult, it enables you to perform the most precise analysis.
We recently sat down with Katie Kiefer, GolfNow’s director of golfer acquisition marketing, for a quick Q&A about how sweepstakes are good not just for golfers, but for golf courses too. As we found out, there is more to annual sweepstakes than just a great prize for golfers.
Q: What kind of impact do these large sweepstakes have on the avid golfer audience?
A: So far, the Drive with Dustin Johnson sweepstakes has provided one of the largest golfer responses we have experienced. The prize package, including a round of golf with DJ, has really resonated with golfers on two continents, and has driven them to get out and play more rounds this summer as well. In addition, golfers have been voting for their favorite courses in droves, earning them an extra entry and also earning one lucky course operator the chance to enjoy the prize package.
A: The benefits of annual sweepstakes like this one work all the way down to the course level; with more golfers visiting our site and returning daily for additional entries, and with more of them subscribing to our email communication, there is increased exposure for course partners. All of that helps to drive interest in the game and, even better, more rounds booked and played at partner courses.
Q: What else can courses do to take advantage of the excitement around GolfNow’s sweepstakes?
NBC Sports Group’s recent acquisition of Revolution Golf, the largest direct-to-consumer digital platform in golf, will provide many benefits for partners of GolfNow and Golf Advisor. The addition of nearly 2 million highly engaged Revolution Golf subscribers strengthens our ability to serve what is now the largest community of active golfers through multiple digital platforms. Via this integration, Revolution Golf’s members now will have access to golf courses both locally and at golf destinations around the globe; and its digital travel properties, including Golf Vacation Insider and Golf Odyssey, will integrate its combined subscriber base of more than 600,000 avid golf travelers within Golf Channel’s digital portfolio.
Revolution Golf partners with some of the most recognizable names in the industry to deliver high-quality, video-based instruction, travel content, and integrated e-commerce to fuel its audience’s passion for the game of golf. Two-thirds of Revolution Golf’s subscribers report playing golf at least once a week in-season and they have an insatiable thirst to get better at the game, learn about the latest and greatest equipment and training aids, and travel to marquee destinations and events. This unique approach, which integrates content with commerce, has been one of the great success stories in golf over the last five years.
The “Made for Samsung” program, which rolled out last year, has attracted a variety of brands looking to deliver exclusive experiences and benefits to Samsung Mobile customers. The program includes top brands like CNN, Expedia and The Weather Channel – all creating custom versions of their apps for Samsung devices. Now available in the Galaxy app store is the GolfNow app, “GolfNow for Samsung,” which offers all same great features as the Android and iOS versions, but with a unique customer service line for Samsung customers and additional discounts. This new version of the GolfNow app currently is being promoted to more than 3 million Samsung customers looking for an exclusive golfing experiences.
Knowing rounds, revenue and utilization by daypart will help to tell the full daily story. Many small business operators record a daily diary post. The post includes highlights, lowlights, weather and sales data information. If the data is limited to rounds and revenue sold for the day, the operator is not recording enough data to help inform future decisions. All golf operators should establish consistent dayparts and always view the business by dayparts. This will help in finding opportunities for rate increases, round increases and staffing improvements. Below is an example report including dayparts.
Royal Portrush Golf Club, host venue for the eagerly anticipated 2019 Open, has teamed up with GolfNow to enable golfers to book their golf rounds online for the first time in the famous club’s illustrious history. This new partnership will see the club’s two courses – The Valley and The Dunluce Links – open to a global audience.
“We are extremely proud, and we are looking forward to taking the Royal Portrush brand to a global audience, with particular exposure within the United States through our various channels, including GolfNow, Golf Channel and Golf Advisor,” said GolfNow Vice President Brian Smith.
Wilma Erskine, chief executive of Royal Portrush Golf Club, added, “We are delighted to extend our global reach through our partnership with GolfNow. The potential in terms of taking our brand to new customers and new markets, and ultimately increasing sales from tourists and travelling golfers, is hugely exciting. GolfNow‘s worldwide platform will not only make it easier for customers to book a round at Royal Portrush, but will also ease pressure for our staff and free up time spent on phone calls and emails.”