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Buyers Guide Accelerate

Tips to Create New Golfers

For Beginners

Try these 4 tips to Make Beginners Feel More at Home

1. Be on the Lookout- New golfers are not hard to spot. Make sure they are welcomed and escorted to the clubhouse so they can get started.
2. Carry the Clubs- Many times beginners don't know to drop the bags off before entering the clubhouse--take their bag so they know what to do on their next visit to your course.
3. Indirect Suggestions- Kindly mention the dress code and direct them to the golf shop so they know your course's expectations.
4. Acquainted- Be sure to offer a short tour of the course so the new golfer not only feels welcome, but also more confident of where things are located.

Tips to Accommodate Golfers New to the Game

1. Have golf clubs to borrow or rent.
2. Create a beginners promotional kit highlighting beginner leagues, clinics, lessons, programs etc. to hand out.
3. Give a quick tour of course and facility
4. Offer a quick 5-10 minute lesson on rules, etiquette, swing, etc.
5. Let them play fewer than 9 holes.

Make Golf Affordable for More People to Play

1. Offer free club fitting
2. Giveaways- buy two rounds, get one free, and the free one is the first one!
3. Special rate for playing fewer than 9 holes
4. Get Golf Ready clinic 
Offer The Following at Your Course to Grow the Game 

1. Singles night on driving range with drinks
2. Pull carts or walkers
3. Free professional help at special times on driving range
4. Morning or evening clinics
5. Wine tour of course and have a different wine at each hole
6. Get Golf Ready
7. Align golf with health and fitness clubs
8. New golfer league
9. Hold a singles night with a happy hour

Other Ideas 

1. Weekly course themes: Bring a Friend Week, Bring Your Boss Week, Mom Son Week
2. Offer free etiquette programs
3. Call the range the “learning center”
4. Train rangers to be friendly and helpful
5. Reach out to the YMCA to develop new players
6. Provide free help from golf pros at posted times on the practice range

For Families

Parents want activities that involve the whole family, so…

1. Offer family clinics
2. Let kids under 12 play free with an adult
3. Hold family scrambles
4. Have different yardages of tees
5. Offer family packages: special rates and a lunch
6. Offer couples leagues
7. Participate in Take Your Daughter
8. Make special offer on Sunday afternoons
9. Develop family putting contests or scrambles
10. Allow families to play in groups of 5 during slow periods

For Juniors

1. Have a spring break golf clinic
2. Offer free golf for juniors in the evenings
3. Work with boy scouts/girl scout to have a golf badge
4. Set up a caddy program
5. Work with the YMCA or recreational department
6. Let high school golf teams play free
7. Set up a mentoring program where juniors are paired with other juniors
8. Contact local schools and have golf pros visit and give mini-clinics

For Retention

4 Tips to Get the Staff in the Friendly Swing of Things:

1. Meeting- Get to them before they hunt for you
2. Greeting- Welcome them before helping them
3. Tag Yourself- A name tag always helps with the staff
4. Helping Hand- Always offer assistance, even when you think it is not needed.

Tips to make golfers comfortable in the heat

1. Post weather updates on your website
2. Sell sweat towels, sun block, water, visors, sunglasses near sign-in desk
3. Soak towels in cold water and have cart girls provide them to golfers

As golfers leave, make sure to they come back

1. Always thank golfers for coming
2. For public courses: Offer a few dollars off if they pay in advance for a tee time next week
3. For public courses: Package deal: Offer incentive if they buy 5-10 tee times
4. Get employees and pros on the friendly bandwagon. Simple “hi, how can I assist you” attitudes will make golfers feel welcome and happy to come back.

Give loyal customers a little something extra

1. Preferred customer program-incentives for playing more
2. Discounts for loyal customers
3. Send thank-you cards or holiday cards to regulars
3. Customer appreciation day with events, food, prizes
4. Deliver the good service that you promise
5. Reward for lowering handicaps
6. Reward with merchandise that’s not golf related-grocery gift certificates
7. Create a pool for PGA tournaments and reward for choosing the right winner
8. Conduct exit interviews to determine what they like and don’t like
9. Sell golf gift certificates- promote to corporations and avid players and for holidays and birthdays

For Take Your Daughter to the Course Week

1. Hold a fashion show
2. Give out goodie bags
3. Offer several free clinics
4. Advertise during Women’s Golf Month
5. Inform girls in your junior program and encourage them to tell their friends
6. Offer free bucket of balls
7. Have a pizza party after the clinic

For Women

Ideas to make your course women-friendly

1. Set up a women’s league or an all-girls clinic
2. Hold women’s socials
3. Offer to pair women beginners up, so they have a buddy to play with
4. Keep the locker rooms clean and have feminine products available
5. Have a full line of golf attire for women in the pro shop
6. Hire more women on staff, including golf professionals
7. Let them play fewer than 9 holes so it doesn’t take as much time
8. Offer programs that include their kids or babysitting options
9. Make it a social affair-offer cocktails and appetizers
10. Put women playing golf in advertisements and promotions
11.  Put women’s handicap on scorecard
12.  Make sure staff makes women feel welcome and appreciated
13. Offer day care at golf course
14. Put on a fashion show
15. Give men a complimentary clinic for their spouses
16. Start a working ladies league

More Women Friendly Notes

1. Women like to learn in clinics
    a. Keeps cost down – new sport needs to be affordable
    b. Make friends
    c. Consider a women-only clinic to make them feel more comfortable

2. Instruction
    a. Include in the Orientation a drive around the course.
        i.  New golfers have never done that before
        ii. This gives a frame of reference for terms: “forced carry”, “par three”
    b. Have all the women introduce themselves to each other
        i. This increases the comfort level
        ii. Also gives them people to play with after the clinics
        iii. Women like to get to know each other
    c. Have equipment available for loan or lease to the new players
        i. Women don’t want to invest in a new sport until they are sure they want to pursue it.
    d. Must have on-course instruction included in the clinic program
        i. Women will not play on the course unless they feel comfortable and know how to act and what is expected of them.

3. Follow-up
    a. Help women find other women to play with:  have a list they can add their name and phone number to.
    b. Offer a variety of playing experiences at the course, both competitive and non-competitive

4. Staff:
    a. If every face is male, a new female golfer will feel out of place
    b. Consider using women as starters, rangers, etc.

5. Signage:
    a. Make it easy to navigate your course with appropriate signage

6. Restrooms:
    a. Have them
    b. Make sure they are clean
    c. Have them stocked with the necessities for women

7. Golf Shop
    a. Have pictures of women players on the walls
    b. Be sure your sales staff is comfortable helping women with their selections

    a. Be sure every promotion makes the point that golf is fun.

Other Ideas 

1. Participate in Women’s Golf Month or hold your own events for women
2. Offer morning and evening clinics
3. Offer a night on the driving range with happy hour
4. Get involved in Executive Women’s Golf Association programs
5. Promote golf for women at spas, banks, gyms, etc.





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