Food Is The Way To A Golfers Heart

It’s funny…there are sometimes places I just don’t want to go and people I simply don’t want to go with.  Sometimes it’s a person or a couple that you know well enough to feel that you just can’t tolerate spending any significant amount of time with.  Maybe it’s a person or a couple that you don’t really know, but know enough about to already feel like you’re going to have a miserable time.  It may even be a person you’ve never met, but you just don’t want to deal with entertaining a new person.  Do you know what I mean?  I feel that way a lot, in both my personal and professional life.  If I don’t want to go spend time with this person or people, then I’m not going.  Unless there’s food.  The idea and the chance that there may be good food can convince me to go almost anywhere and give almost anyone a chance.

Now this doesn’t work only for me.  This is also very common in my professional life, as well as many others who work for a living.  My job occasionally requires me to go to a “networker” or that type of event.  I’m not going to say I “hate” going to those things, but I will call it a strong dislike.  My boss can tell me he needs me to go because he can’t make it.  I’ll hem and haw a bit, but then he’ll tell me…”They always do a good job with the food there.”  OK…I’ll go.  “Open bar” works just about as well.  Whatever venue holds the event, or whichever organization hosts it, is happy to provide the food in the hopes that some of the attendees will be returning.  Wouldn’t it be nice if golf courses did the same?

Yes, I know there are plenty of tournaments where the post-round spread is a large part of the event.  But I’m talking about more of a course “open house” if you will.  Why not use this type of thing to get some people out to your course?  Give the people an event.  Not an event for the people who are already members.  Put out an open invitation to non-members so you can attempt to make them members.  And if not members, then at least a few daily fee players.

Some years ago, I remember some of the reps of a nice local course coming into my office looking to sign my company up to a corporate membership.  They were friendly, nice people and had some nice very colorful brochures with great pictures of their course and clubhouse.  After they left, I mentioned to my boss that I had played the course and it was pretty nice.  But my boss, as well as his boss, didn’t even give it a chance.  But perhaps an invite to a free round would have helped.  Maybe one of those non-member events could have helped as well.  Well, in hindsight, anything would have helped since the course has now been out of business for roughly ten years and is now a nature preserve.

So again, maybe another idea to help some course pump a little life into the stagnant state of golf.  Throw a little party for some non-members.  Maybe you can bring in those new members you’re going to need when the old crew decides to hang up their spikes.  Maybe you can recruit a few new daily fee players who don’t necessarily have the money for a membership or don’t want to be tied to one course, but like your course enough to drop $50 on a round a couple times per season.  Or maybe you can find a company who would like to rent your facilities for some of their corporate events or outings.  Do you have banquet facilities?  People hold wedding receptions at golf courses you know.  The courses maybe just have to not be afraid to give away a round here and there or spend a little marketing money in a different way.  After all, it takes dough to make bread.

Swing ’til you’re happy!

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  1. Ted B. (Charging Rhino says:

    There are times that I strongly-suspect that local course operators are more concerned about outside-group outings, their catering/wedding business, and their bar-liquor licenses than they are about playing-members or playing-customers. In my state you can’t just buy a retail bar-license, you have to purchase an existing-one—if even available, often for several million dollars depending on the community. While they are issued by the state, they are allocated by municipality based-on-population and prior licenses, and controlled by that municipality. Newly-minted licenses literally-require an act of the Legislature and the support of several-layers of elected local, county and state elected-officials. One loop-hole is a bar-license for “private bars” like at the VFW, the Fire Department, and “fraternal/social” groups like the Knights of Columbus and private yacht and golf clubs. Technically you have to be a member of that club—they actually issue a card—to drink in the bar…along with your “guests”. Now you can legally-cater weddings and bar mitzvahs with an open or cash bar.

    One local non-equity membership club near me has so-much corporate-outing business that the management actually discourages membership-recruitment since it would cut into the available tee-slots available for their corporate sales-motivation shot-gun starts and charitable tournaments. The bar and restaurant is almost-always closed for a “private party” or corporate awards banquet.

    Another just built a HUGE clubhouse/catering hall just for their burgeoning wedding business, they can handle three large weddings simultaneously…all thanks to the club’s bar-license…sometimes 10 weddings a weekend. It’s a wedding palace with 180-acres of lawn to mow….

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